Earwax! The word itself makes us cringe! Something about it is just so repulsive. To call it by its actual name, earwax is known as cerumen and actually serves a big purpose in protecting your ears. It helps trap dirt and debris from entering your ears and damaging your hearing. However, too much earwax can actually prevent you from hearing properly as well.
Cerumen is created within the ear canal and is an amalgamation of secreted oils and cells of the skin. Earwax helps maintain sufficient moisture within your ears while keeping foreign articles and dust out. Normally you do not need to clean out earwax since it usually falls out by itself once its job is done. The manner in which it falls out is through the movements of your jaw. You can also remove it with a wet towel after your shower.
We are often brought up with the mistaken belief that it is best to keep your ears clean with a q-tip. This is a grave mistake because prodding objects into the ear canal can actually puncture the ear drum and damage your hearing. It can also push the cerumen deeper into your ears and cause hearing loss due to blockage. Simply wiping out the earwax on the outer surface of the ears is adequate. Do this with a moist, clean towel or washcloth.
Some people produce more earwax than is necessary and excessive amounts of earwax can cause conductive hearing impairment. This happens due to the blockage between the outer and middle parts of the ear due to earwax.
You might have this type of hearing loss if you feel your ear are stuffed up, you have a ringing sensation in the ears, or earache. Do not neglect these symptoms since extended blockage could lead to ear infections. Thankfully, conductive hearing loss due to earwax is easily remedied. Talk to your medical professional about getting your ears cleaned professionally if you suspect you have hearing loss due to accumulation of earwax.
Always get your ears cleaned by a medical professional since it is unsafe to try and do it yourself. Those who wear hearing aids would also need to get their ears cleaned regularly since earwax tends to block the sounds going into the hearing aids by blocking the microphone or speaker. Keep your hearing aids clean on a daily basis to prevent earwax buildup in your hearing aids. For your ears, it is best to leave the clean to the professionals!
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