Earwax is NOT the Enemy

The way the human body works continues to be a marvel of science.  From the largest organs to the smallest cells, everything is designed to work together to produce a healthy body.  Even the way our bodies produce and use earwax along with its effect on our hearing isn’t an accident.  Many people see earwax as a nuisance and try to remove it on a daily basis, but we produce earwax for a reason and shouldn’t just indiscriminately remove it.  According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, earwax is produced by the body as a self-cleaning agent with protective, lubricating and antibacterial properties.

qtipWhen individuals are overzealous with their ear cleaning routine and grab the Q-tips after every shower, they are actually doing more harm than good.  Our ears need some ear wax to help protect them from dirt, dust and (gross we know), but bugs that can get into our ears.  The wax keeps these contaminants from going even further into our ear canal and harming our ear drum or causing infections. Q-tips can also do damage by pushing the existing wax back into the ear canal causing it to become pressed up against the eardrum instead of removing it.  When this happens it will certainly affect the individual’s hearing  but it could also cause the eardrum to burst and now you are in real trouble.

There are some people who are overproducers of earwax and when there is a buildup of wax caused by either overproduction or due to the pushing back of wax, it must be removed.  Earwax removal can be an easy procedure but it must be done carefully so as to not harm the delicate eardrum.  Doctors recommend using an earwax softener first, followed by gentle irrigation.  If this method does not work, you should go in and see your audiologist or doctor who can help you safely remove the earwax.

Doctors have special equipment that can safely suction or scoop out the wax that is causing the problem.  Patients who have this procedure done are always amazed at how well they can hear again once it is done.  So if you are having problems hearing things that just a short time ago were perfectly clear, you might just have a buildup of wax in your ear.  Make an appointment with your audiologist and they can check out the health of your ear and let you know if it is just a simple procedure to clean out your ears or if it is indeed something more serious.  Whatever the situation, you can be assured that they will have a treatment option to help get you back to hearing well once more.

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