What Causes Earwax Buildup?

Close up image of ear with earwax buildup.

It’s likely that earwax and its accumulation haven’t been subjects of significant contemplation for you, except perhaps during ear hygiene routines. Nonetheless, comprehending what causes earwax, how it develops, and its purpose is crucial.

What triggers the buildup of earwax?

Earwax, technically called cerumen, is a dense combination of debris, hair, skin particles, sweat, and ceruminous gland secretions. Earwax will show up as a waxy substance that will normally be yellow, orange, brown, or even grey.

In most circumstances, kids tend to generate more earwax than adults. Moreover, adult earwax tends to be darker and harder compared to that of children.

Earwax passes the outer ear canal leisurely, eventually reaching the ear opening, where it either self-expels or gets washed away during bathing.

Why do we need earwax?

Here are a few essential functions that earwax serves:

  • Fending off potential infections that may develop within the ear canal.
  • Acting as a protective barrier against external irritants like dirt, dust, and other foreign particles before they infiltrate deeper into the ear.
  • Stopping itchiness and dryness by moisturizing and safeguarding the lining of the ear canal.

Obstructions caused by earwax

Impacted earwax is a common issue, but it’s typically the only time you need to worry about it. In some cases, earwax is unable to easily get to the opening of the ear as a result of narrow or unusually shaped ear canals.

Poor ear hygiene practices, such as using cotton swabs or bobby pins, can inadvertently push wax deeper into the ear canal.

Earwax blockages are often experienced by individuals who frequently use earplugs, earbuds, or hearing aids.

How is hearing impacted by excessive earwax?

Auditory health might be hindered and you might feel minor discomfort.
Ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, might also occur.

Untreated earwax obstructions may escalate into middle ear infections, perforated eardrums, or lasting hearing impairment as a result of acoustic trauma.

How do you deal with impacted wax?

It’s essential that you contact us as soon as you can if you think your ears are blocked by earwax. You might be advised to utilize over-the-counter products like a bulb syringe or earwax softening drops to clean the wax out, depending on the extent of the blockage.

If you’re worried about your earwax buildup, call us today to schedule an appointment.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.