August 10th, 2023 Article, Ears, Facts, Tips

Ear wax, also known as cerumen, is a natural and important component of our ear health. However, excessive ear wax can lead to discomfort, hearing loss, and even ear infections. To maintain healthy ears and prevent wax build-up, follow these simple tips and practices.

Avoid Q-tips / Cotton Buds

Using Q-tips or cotton buds to clean your ears is a common but harmful practice. These items can damage the delicate ear canal lining, increase the risk of ear infections, and push the wax further into the canal, causing blockages and reduced hearing. Instead, allow the ear’s natural cleaning process to occur.

Use Olive Oil Drops

Regularly using olive oil drops, like Earol, can help keep the ear wax soft and facilitate its migration out of the ear. Applying these drops once a week can reduce the likelihood of wax impaction and blockage, ensuring better ear health. You can find Earol in our clinics as we are proud local stockists.

Moisturise Around the Ear

If you suffer from dry skin or eczema, moisturise around the outside of the ear with unscented moisturiser, such as E45. This practice can prevent dry skin from falling into the ear canal and causing irritation.

Keep Your Ears Dry

Minimise the risk of ear infections by keeping your ears dry during activities like showering or washing your hair. You can use custom made ear plugs (which Just Ears can provide) or, alternatively, a cotton wool ball with a smear of Vaseline to act as a barrier (remember to dispose of it after each use). A shower cap can also be useful when not washing your hair.

Remember, maintaining healthy ears is essential for overall well-being. Follow these tips to avoid wax build-up and its associated discomforts.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence highlights that a build-up of ear wax can lead to hearing loss, discomfort, infections, and even contribute to stress, social isolation, and depression. To further educate everyone about earwax, let’s explore some commonly asked questions:

What is Ear wax?

Ear wax, scientifically known as cerumen, is a waxy oil naturally produced by the ear canal.

Why do We Need Ear wax?

Earwax serves as a protective mechanism, safeguarding the ear and ear canal from dust, dirt, and foreign particles that may enter the inner ear.

Can You Prevent Ear wax Build-Up?

While it’s not possible to prevent the production of ear wax, regular use of olive oil drops can help keep the wax soft and reduce the chances of blockages.

What Causes Ear wax Build-Up?

Several factors contribute to ear wax build-up, such as natural variations in wax production among individuals, age (as older individuals may produce harder wax that is difficult to expel), narrow or hairy ear canals, and practices like using cotton buds to clean the ears or frequently using in-ear headphones.

Should You Remove Excess Ear wax Yourself?

It is not advisable to remove ear wax too frequently, as doing so can signal the body to produce even more wax. Additionally, using cotton buds for removal can push the wax deeper into the ear canal. If you experience discomfort or hearing loss due to built-up earwax, consider seeking professional help, such as microsuction, a safe and effective method for removing excess ear wax.

By following these top tips and maintaining proper ear care practices, you can ensure healthy ears, free from wax build-up and associated issues. Prioritise your ear health to enjoy better hearing and overall well-being.