Don’t neglect cleaning your ears. Whenever you say that, you inevitably use your “parent voice”. Maybe when you were a child you even remember your parents telling you to do it. As you get caught up in past nostalgia, that sort of memory can take you back to simpler times.
But it’s also great advice. Uncontrolled earwax buildup can cause a substantial number of problems, particularly for your hearing. And on top of that, earwax can solidify inside your ear and become really difficult to clean. Bottom line, you’ll be best off keeping those ears clean.
Excessive earwax? Eww!
Earwax is, well, sort of gross. And we’re not going to attempt to change your mind about that. But earwax does serve a purpose. Produced by special glands in your ear and churned outwards by your jaw’s chewing motion, earwax can help keep dust and dirt out of your ears.
So your ears will stay clean and healthy when they generate the right amount of earwax. It might seem strange, but earwax doesn’t suggest poor hygiene.
The problems begin when your ears produce too much earwax. And it can be fairly challenging to know if the amount of earwax being created is healthy or too much.
What is the impact of excess earwax?
So, what develops as a consequence of accumulated earwax? Earwax that gets out of control and, over time, accumulates, can lead to several problems. Those issues include:
- Earache: One of the most common signs of accumulated earwax is an earache. Sometimes, it doesn’t hurt that bad, and other times it can really hurt. This is typically a result of the earwax creating pressure somewhere it shouldn’t.
- Tinnitus: Tinnitus is an affliction where you hear a phantom buzzing or ringing in your ears. Earwax buildup can cause tinnitus symptoms to worsen or to emerge.
- Infection: Infections can be the consequence of surplus earwax. In some cases, that’s because the earwax can lock in fluid where it ought not to be.
- Dizziness: Your ability to maintain balance depends greatly on your inner ear. You can suffer from episodes of dizziness and balance problems when your inner ear is having problems.
These are just a few. Headaches and pain can occur because of uncontrolled earwax buildup. If you use hearing aids, excess earwax can interfere with them. This means that you may think your hearing aids are malfunctioning when the real problem is a little bit too much earwax.
Can earwax impact your hearing?
Well, yes it can. One of the most typical problems connected with excess earwax is hearing loss. When earwax accumulates in the ear canal it produces a blockage of sound causing a form of hearing loss called conductive hearing loss. The issue normally goes away when the earwax is eliminated, and normally, your hearing will go back to normal.
But if the accumulation becomes severe, permanent damage can develop. The same is true of earwax-caused tinnitus. It’s usually not permanent. But the longer the excess earwax hangs around (that is, the longer you neglect the symptoms), the bigger the risk of long-term damage.
Prevention, treatment, or both?
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your earwax if you want to protect your hearing. In many circumstances, earwax accumulation is caused not by excessive production but by improper cleaning (a cotton swab, for instance, will frequently compress the earwax in your ear rather than getting rid of it, eventually leading to a blockage).
Frequently, the wax has gotten hard, dense, and unable to clear without professional treatment. You’ll be capable of starting to hear again after you get that treatment and then you can start over, cleaning your ears the right way.