What is ear wax and how can you prevent wax build-up? What will happen if you allow ear wax to build up? How can you remove it? Earwax is produced by the ear to protect it from irritation and bacterial or fungal infection. Some people produce more earwax than others and it should be removed to prevent build-up.
This is an enzyme in a lipid semi-solid state produced in the outer ear canal. Ear wax has both antibacterial and lubricating properties and is produced by the body to protect the ear. It is acidic and used to maintain the health of the outer ear canal. When your ear is packed with lots of wax, it may cause obstructions leading to blocked ears and reduced hearing ability. Some people produce more earwax than others and it may be due to:
• Chronic ear infections.
• Highly stressful lifestyle.
• Lots of hair in the ears.
• Old age.
• Using cotton swabs to clean the ear.
• Ear canal shaped in a way that interferes with natural wax removal.
Ear wax production is also triggered by contact stimuli. Objects that rub the ears and cause contact stimuli include earbuds, hearing aids, and headphones. Your ear produces more ear wax to protect itself from an infection or irritation. The ear wax removal spray cleans the ear by dissolving ear wax and providing irrigation that flushes wax out from the ear canal.
Importance of ear wax
i. Protects bacteria and dirt from entering the innermost part of your ear. It is sticky to collect any microscopic debris that enters the ear.
ii. It acts as a protective coating to your inner canal preventing your ear from getting irritated and infected.
iii. It acts as an insect repellant since its smell repels bugs and it is sticky thus trapping insects that enter the canal.
Symptoms of earwax build-up
Ear wax builds up when people use Q-tip or bobby pins to clean their ears. This pushes ear wax deeper into the ear causing injury. Look out for symptoms like:
a. Ringing in the ear.
b. Hearing loss worsens gradually.
c. Pain in the ear.
d. Ear discharge.
e. The ear feels itchy.
g. The odor from the ear.
Treatment of ear wax build-up
When wax builds up in your ears, it leads to excessive bacterial or fungal debris and water trapping.
1. Ear’s exterior is cleaned by wiping it with a cloth.
2. A solution used to dissolve wax is put into the ear canal. These solutions include glycerin, mineral oil, peroxide-based ear drops, saline solutions, and baby oil.
3. After the wax has dissolved, a syringe with water or saline is used to rinse the ear canal. This should not be done if you suspect you have a hole in your eardrums.
4. Special instruments are used to remove the wax. The healthcare provider might use forceps, cerumen spoon, or suction device for the removal process.
Ear wax is an enzyme that is in a semi-solid state and is produced by the ear to protect it. Some people produce more earwax than others and it is, therefore, advisable to remove it before it builds up and causes hearing loss. Avoid sticking things like cotton swabs into your ears to clean as they push the debris further into the ear canal.