Ear wax, scientifically referred to as cerumen, is a normal part of the human body’s self-cleaning process. It is produced by glands in the ear canal and helps trap dirt and debris while providing lubrication. While some people may produce more or less ear wax than others, it generally serves an important purpose in maintaining healthy ears. It is also normal for ear wax to accumulate over time and eventually harden, prompting the need for occasional cleaning. Understanding the importance of cerumen can help one take better care of their ears and reduce their risk of infection or hearing loss.
How do you know if you have too much ear wax?
It is important to note, however, that some people may be more prone to cerumen buildup than others and could benefit from taking extra precautions. Additionally, too much cerumen can lead to blockages and other issues if not properly managed. Knowing the signs of cerumen accumulation can help one determine if their ears are healthy or if further cleaning may be necessary. Symptoms such as muffled hearing, irritation inside the ear, ringing or buzzing (tinnitus), discomfort or pain in the ear, and feeling like the ear itches or is full can all indicate cerumen buildup. When cerumen accumulates, it is important to seek professional help for cleaning and removal.
Why does earwax vary in color?
Ear wax is naturally yellow or brown in color, but it can come in a variety of shades and textures, such as white, black, and even orange. The type of cerumen present will depend on several factors including genetics, diet, lifestyle choices, and age. However, cerumen is generally soft and waxy in texture to allow for a smooth removal process when cleaned.
Earwax Removal Methods To Avoid
Most are familiar with using Q-tips or cotton swabs to clean ears, remove earwax, or loosen a blockage. It is strongly discouraged because instead of removing the wax, it may push the wax/debris further down the ear canal, risking more damage to the ears.
Cotton swabs should only be used to clean the outer area of the ear. Never insert cotton swabs or any other pointed objects into the ear canal to avoid injuring the inner ear or puncturing your eardrum.
Why is important to see a Professional for EarWax Removal?
It is important to note that cerumen buildup can be a sign of an underlying condition and should not be ignored. If cerumen builds up too quickly or if any other symptoms are present, it is advised to contact a healthcare professional for further assessment and treatment. Additionally, some people may require additional help with cerumen removal due to the complexity of their ear canals or the type of cerumen present. In these cases, seeking professional help is the best option to ensure safe and effective cleaning.
Ear Wax solutions at Kalady Audiology
Dr Kalady uses the Earigator for professional ear cleaning and earwax removal. The Earigator seamlessly combines the functions of irrigation and an otoscope into one, providing one of the world’s most advanced cerumen control. The Earigator allows us to safely and efficiently remove even the most stubborn ear wax.
Patients enjoy the feeling of the warm water massaging their ear and rarely complain about lingering pain, as is common in traditional methods.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.