- What is Earwax?
- Earwax is an accumulation of many different skin oils, skin debris, dirt, and other exudates that collects in the ear canal. It protects the skin of the ear canal, helps keep your ear clean and lubricated, and helps protect against bacteria, fungi, insects, and water. Earwax is made up of shed skin cells hair, and the secretions of the ceruminous and sebaceous glands of the outside ear canal. Chemically, earwax is made up of a long chain of fatty acids (both saturated and unsaturated), alcohols, squalene, and cholesterol. While earwax helps protect your ears, too much build up or compacted cerumen can press against the eardrum or block the outside ear canal or hearing aids. This can lead to hearing loss.
- How Do I Know If I Have Too Much Earwax?
- If you want to know if you have too much earwax you can see a doctor or medical professional. Without a doctor’s visit, you can spot potential earwax problems if you are suffering from hearing loss, ear pain, pressure, itching, plugging, dizziness, drainage from your ears, ringing in your ears, or other uncomfortable sensations.
- What causes excessive earwax production?
- Some people are genetically prone to produce too much earwax. However, having excessive wax doesn’t automatically lead to a blockage. The most common cause of earwax blockage is at-home removal from people using cotton swabs, bobby pins, or other objects that push wax deep into the ear, causing the blockage to occur.
- What causes earwax buildup in adults?
- Some people are naturally prone to producing too much earwax. In most cases, this is based entirely on genetics. The most common cause of earwax blockages is at-home removal. Using cotton swabs, bobby pins, or other objects can push the wax deeper, causing a blockage.
- Is Earwax Good or Bad?
- There is nothing inherently bad about earwax. Your body produces it naturally to lubricate and clean your ears. Your skin produces oils to lubricate and protect against drying that can come from water loss and heat damage. Your ears produce earwax to moisturize the ear canal and protect the ears from dirt, debris, bacteria, and other pathogens. You need a moderate coating of earwax for it to protect your ears properly. If you have too much wax, however, you can end up with dirty and poorly functional ears.
- Why Do I Have a Problem with Earwax?
- Everyone’s body produces earwax differently, and earwax production is largely attributed to your genetics. Since you have more than one ear, it’s entirely possible for one ear to have too much earwax or a blockage while the other ear is perfectly fine. Some people also have more narrow or contoured ear canals than others, which can lead to problems with earwax that other people do not experience.
- What are the symptoms of earwax impaction?
- If you have impacted earwax, you may feel a fullness or pain in your ear. You may also experience increasing difficulty hearing. Ringing in your ear (also known as tinnitus) or itchiness inside the ear are also common. Some people may experience a discharge or odor coming from the ear. Additionally, too much earwax can cause some people to feel dizziness.
- What is the most common type of earwax?
- People produce earwax differently, and that is largely attributed to genetics and is expressed differently in different races. Some people produce wet earwax, while others produce a dryer variation. The white, flaky type likely means that your sweat may lack a certain chemical.
Earwax Questions Print
Created by: Jon Romanow
Modified on: Fri, 21 Aug, 2020 at 3:37 PM
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