What is Ear Wax?
Ear wax, also known as cerumen, is a yellowish substance produced by glands in the ear canal. Its main function is to protect the ear from dust, dirt, and other foreign particles. It also lubricates the ear canal and has antimicrobial properties.
How Does Ear Wax Build Up?
Ear wax build up occurs when the ear produces more wax than it can remove naturally. This can happen due to various reasons such as using cotton swabs, hearing aids, or earplugs that push the wax deeper into the ear canal. It can also occur due to narrow or twisted ear canals, excessive hair growth in the ear canal, or the production of dry or hard wax.
How Fast Can Ear Wax Build Up?
The rate at which ear wax builds up varies from person to person. Some people produce more ear wax than others, while some have naturally wider ear canals that allow the wax to flow out more easily. However, on average, it takes around 6 to 12 months for ear wax to build up to a level that requires removal.
What are the Symptoms of Ear Wax Build Up?
When ear wax builds up, it can cause various symptoms such as earache, ringing in the ears, dizziness, itching, or a feeling of fullness in the ear. It can also affect hearing, making sounds seem muffled or distorted. If left untreated, ear wax build up can lead to more serious complications such as infections or hearing loss.
How to Remove Ear Wax?
There are various methods to remove ear wax such as ear drops, irrigation, suction, or manual removal by a healthcare professional. It is important to avoid using cotton swabs or other objects that can push the wax deeper into the ear canal and cause damage to the eardrum. It is also recommended to seek medical advice if experiencing any symptoms of ear wax build up.
How to Prevent Ear Wax Build Up?
There are some ways to prevent ear wax build up such as avoiding the use of cotton swabs, wearing earplugs in noisy environments, keeping the ears dry, and avoiding the use of excessive ear wax removal products. It is also important to maintain good ear hygiene by cleaning the outer ear with a damp cloth and avoiding the use of sharp objects or ear candles.
Ear wax build up is a common problem that affects many people. While it is important to keep the ears clean and healthy, it is also important to avoid over-cleaning or using improper methods that can cause damage or further complications. If experiencing any symptoms of ear wax build up or hearing loss, it is recommended to seek medical advice and treatment.