Earwax. It’s something that we all have, and it plays an important role in protecting your auditory health. Your ears produce earwax to help protect your ear canal from water and infection.
The yellow waxy substance, also known as cerumen, plays an significant part in cleaning and protecting your ears.
Although it plays an essential role, many of us don’t understand to what extent. Today, we’re taking a closer look at X benefits of earwax.
3 Benefits of Earwax
Earwax, or to use the medical term, cerumen, exists in our ears for a reason. Our ears are a sensitive environment. Changes to that environment can have an impact on our ability to hear. These changes could be the result of something happening within our bodies. In some cases, they can also be the result of a foreign body.
Here are 3 benefits of earwax, that may convince you to put that cotton swab down.
It Protects Our Ears
One of the main purposes of earwax is to protect our ears. Earwax helps to stop dust and dirt from entering into our ear canal. Additionally, earwax helps to prevent bacteria and other infections from reaching our inner ear.
It’s A Natural Moisturizer
Earwax helps to keep the skin inside our ears from drying out. Without earwax, we could end up with very itchy ears!
It’s tempting to grab a q-tip and try to dig out the earwax in our ears. However, this is not necessary! (We also advise against inserting objects into your ear, as this could cause further issues.)
Our ears are a self-cleaning environment. Natural movements of our jaw helps to move earwax along our ear canal to the opening. At this point, the wax can either dry up, fall out or flake off.
When Should Earwax be Removed?
For the most part, earwax naturally works its way out of the ear canal and into the ear opening. However, when earwax builds up in your ear, it can impact your hearing. To help you understand when earwax should be removed, we’ve put together a few do’s and don’ts.
- Do – Realize that earwax is perfectly normal. As long as it doesn’t block the ear canal and/or hinder your hearing, it can be left as is.
- Do – Beware of the symptoms of earwax build-up. The symptoms include hearing loss, the feeling of ear fullness, tinnitus also known as “ringing in the ears”, and changes to hearing aid functionality such as distorted sounds, etc.
- Do – Get your hearing checked and your ears examined by a medical professional if you experience a change in your hearing ability, ringing or fullness in your ears, and/or ear pain. NOTE: There are other medical conditions that may exhibit symptoms similar to earwax build-up, such as ear infections. A medical professional should be able to rule these out if you experience any of the previously mentioned symptoms.
- Do – Discuss at-home remedies for earwax removal with a medical professional before attempting them; there are certain medical conditions that can make some at-home remedies unsafe.
- Don’t – Clean your ears too much. Overcleaning can cause irritation, can lead to an ear infection and can even cause an increase in earwax build-up.
- Don’t – Put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. Avoid using cotton swabs, bobby pins, keys, paper clips, etc. to clean or scratch your ears. These items can cause damage to your ear canal (i.e. a cut, or puncture of the eardrum) — which can lead to many other issues.
- Don’t – Use ear candles. A study showed that ear candling has no positive clinical effect, and it is associated with considerable risk. There is in fact no evidence that suggests that ear candling is an effective treatment for any condition.
- Don’t – Forget to clean your hearing aids as recommended by your hearing healthcare professional.
Need Help? Contact Us Today!
Would you like to speak to a hearing professional about your earwax? At Anderson Audiology, our hearing specialists are on hand to help. Call us today on 702-997-2964. Alternatively, click here to request an appointment online.