Earwax - The Facts!

Date: 20th January 2020
Ears, Tips, Facts

Earwax the Facts

There’s not a lot we don’t know about earwax! Although part of our natural ear health, it can be extremely frustrating. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence quotes “A build-up of earwax in the ear canal can cause hearing loss and discomfort, contributes to infections, and can exacerbate stress, social isolation and depression”.

To help educate everyone a little more about earwax, below are the answers to questions we are asked regularly when helping our patients.

What is earwax?

It is a waxy oil known as cerumen which is naturally produced by the ear canal.

Why do we need earwax?

Earwax helps to protect the ear and ear canal from dust, dirt and foreign particles entering the inner part of the ear.

Can you prevent earwax?

You cannot prevent earwax from being produced, but you can prevent blockages by using olive oil drops regularly to keep the wax soft.

What causes earwax build up?

  1. Some people naturally produce more wax than others.
  2. Your age. As you get older you can produce more wax that is harder and more difficult to fall out.
  3. You have narrow or hairy ear canals.
  4. Using cotton buds to ‘clean’ the ear which can push the wax further into the ear canal.
  5. Using in ear headphones frequently can cause a build up as it inadvertently prevents the earwax from coming out and like a cotton bud pushes the wax further in.
  6. Stress and fear can also increase earwax production. The same apocrine glands which produce sweat also produce cerumen.

Should I remove excess earwax myself?

No. If you remove the wax too frequently it actually signals to your body to produce more. You should also never use cotton buds to help remove the wax. If you are suffering with built up earwax and it is causing you discomfort or hearing loss, get in touch to find out more about microsuction and how this will help you. Book online today or call 03455 27 27 27.

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