EWWW- EARWAX! DISGUSTING!
So why is everyone so grossed out by ear wax? Well for one, it looks yucky. It’s brown, greenish, gunky and sometimes gooey and sticky. Just seeing it can make you feel unclean and in need of hygiene.
But get over it! Everyone has it. And it’s a good thing you do or you’d be in a lot of trouble. There’s a reason you have ear wax. It creates a waterproof lining in your ears that keeps them dry, which prevents germs and bacteria from causing constant infections. It traps dirt and dust, and little pieces of cotton (from those nasty Q-tips), and all the stuff that gets stuck in the hairspray you accidentally sprayed in your ears. Wax keeps your ears lubricated and repels fungi, insects, and water.
Ear wax has a purpose. It protects your ears.
In fact, having too little earwax or over cleaning your ears can cause dry, flaky and itching ears and trigger infections.
Some wax is dry and flaky and some wax is gooey and sticky. What kind you have is basically genetic. In general, Asians have dry earwax while European and African populations produce “wet” ear wax.
GET THAT Q-TIP, BOBBY PIN, PEN KNIFE, AND SAMURAI SWORD OUT OF YOUR EAR!
Most ears are self cleaning. Every time you chew or talk, the movement of your jaw causes the dusty, germ laden wax to be pushed toward the opening of your ear where it usually flakes and falls out. Meantime, the glands in your ear canals are producing new, protective fresh wax.
When you stick objects in your ear, you’re really not helping. You’re actually pushing all the wax deeper into the canal and causing it to keep building up. Then the wax gets impacted.
- You get hearing loss
- You get an earache
- You get tinnitus (ringing in your ear)
- Your ears itch
- Your ears smell bad
- You puncture your eardrum
THINGS THAT CAN CAUSE EXCESSIVE WAX BUILD-UP:
- The number one cause of excessive wax buildup is self cleaning attempts. See, I told you it was bad.
- Genetics – some people just produce too much. It runs in the family
- Hearing aids*
- Age – the ears produce less moisture and the ear canals can narrow, causing the dry wax to get stuck.
*Your ears need to breathe and get air. Wearing headphones and using hearing aids can block the ears from performing their natural self-process.
Cleaning your ears isn’t a do-it-yourself project. Even if you use an over the counter remedy, how do you know if it worked? You can’t see what you’re doing in there.
If you think you have ear wax build up, do NOT try to fix it yourself. Your audiologist or doctor can remove it quickly, easily, comfortably, and professionally.