10/30/2017

Earwax – A Mild Condition

Earwax has several useful functions. However, when it builds up it can cause problems as well. Earwax is referred to as ‘cerumen’ in medical terms. Earwax consists of various substances that form a protective layer. Earwax helps to protect the ear canal from cracking or drying. It can trap dirt and repel water, keeping the ear lining clean. It also has antibacterial properties that keep infections away. It prevents damage to the eardrum as well.

Types of earwax

Earwax can be soft or hard. The soft earwax is moist and feels the stick. It is most often seen in children. The hard earwax usually forms in adults. When the earwax gets pushed deep into the canal, blockage occurs and it can create a problem.

Earwax complications

Due to excessive build-up of earwax, the ear canal can become blocked. This may lead to intense pain and sometimes you won’t be able to hear properly. It can cause ear infection and acoustic trauma as well.  Earwax blockage is mostly seen in people who use earplug or hearing aid most of the time. Using cotton swabs can also cause earwax buildup.

Earwax treatments

There are various home remedies for treating earwax. If you can pour pressurized water in your ear then the earwax will go away. This process is known as ear irrigation. You can use over-the-counter ear drops to treat your earwax problem. You can also use a syringe to insert warm water in the ear so that the blockage gets removed. If you find that you are not getting any benefit from the home remedies then you must visit a doctor. You might have the risk of damaging your eardrum if you don’t start your treatment quickly. If you find difficulty in hearing, find it difficult to walk or have spinning sensation then that’s also a sign that something serious might have occurred to your ear and you need immediate medical attention.

The amount of earwax buildup varies from one person to another. The earwax crust will break and fall off at certain intervals. It is not necessary to remove earwax until you have any hearing problem. Earwax buildup may be a frequent problem. So, you may need to use eardrops regularly. You should avoid using fingers to remove the earwax; otherwise, you might have infections. Try to keep the inner lining of your ear clean to prevent excessive earwax buildup.

Amy Black