Ear wax is a normal physiological shedding of skin and material from our ear canal. It begins from our ear drum and slowly migrates outwards.
Ear wax can unfortunately get built up, and block our ear canals if the canals are narrow, tortuous or if there are external objects such as cotton buds, which push the wax further into the canal. This can lead to pain, ear discharge and a blocked ear/ hearing loss.
Ear wax build-up can happen to everyone regardless of age or gender. However, if you happen to fall under any of these categories, you could be more susceptible to excessive ear wax build-up:
- If you use hearing aids, or ear plugs
- If you have excess hairs on the ear
- If you have skin conditions that affects the ear region
- If you are older in age
- If you have uneven ear canal skin or bony outgrowths of your ear canal which disrupt the natural ear wax removal process
There are various ways to remove ear wax, depending on the severity of your case. Some home remedies like using cerumenolytic solutions to dissolve the ear wax can help for simple cases.
However, if your ear wax situation is more complex, it is best to approach an ENT specialist who can accurately and completely remove your wax using microscopic ear suction. This method of cleaning is superior to syringing as it is under direct vision, and ensures that your ear canal and more importantly, your ear drum is not damaged during the process. It is even more essential that ear wax clearance is done by gentle and experienced hands as children are more easily scared by uncomfortable or new procedures.
Ear wax is a naturally occurring substance in the body and is not necessarily a bad thing. However, it becomes detrimental when excessive ear wax is produced or the ear wax cannot be naturally removed. Avoid digging your ears with instruments as it disrupts your ear’s natural wax clearance function leading to ear wax accumulation.