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Learning more about earwax

Asian man cleaning ears with a cotton bud

Earwax, also known as cerumen, is a natural substance produced by the glands in your ear canal.  Earwax plays an important role in maintaining the health of your ears. 

In this blog, we’ll explore how earwax is made, why it sometimes builds up excessively and what you can do to safely remove it.

How is it made?

Have you ever wondered how earwax is made? 

Our ears, although small in size are a fascinating part of our body. Inside our ears are specialised glands that are the factory which create your earwax.  These glands, called ceruminous glands, work alongside sebaceous glands to produce a mixture of oils, sweat, dead skin cells, and anything else that may enter the ear. All of this together creates the sticky substance we know as earwax.

Why do we need it?

The glands in your ear canal work all the time to make earwax, in order to protect the inside of the ears. Earwax is important for our body and its role includes lubricating the ear canal, stopping outside water, and trapping foreign particles that enter the ear. Essentially, earwax acts as a natural barrier, protecting the delicate structures of the inner ear from harm.So you can thank your earwax!

Why does my earwax build up?

As we now know, earwax is important to protect our ears, however it can sometimes build up and cause us problems.

One common issue you may encounter is the excessive build up of earwax, which can lead to blockages and discomfort. 

But why does this happen?

  1. Overproduction of wax: Sometimes, the glands responsible for producing earwax can become overactive, resulting in more wax than necessary. This excess wax may not be effectively leave the ear, causing it to build up over time.

  2. Impaction: Earwax impaction occurs when wax becomes tightly packed in the ear canal, making it difficult for it to naturally work its way out. This can happen due if you are using cotton ear buds.

  3. Size and shape of ear: The shape and size of your ear canal can also influence earwax build-up. If you have a with narrow ear canals, you may be more prone to experiencing excessive wax accumulation.

  4. Age: As we get older, changes in the consistency of earwax can occur. It may become drier and stickier, making it harder for the ear’s natural cleaning mechanisms to remove it. This can contribute to a gradual build-up of wax over time.

Managing Earwax Build-Up

Dealing with earwax build-up doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some practical tips to help manage it effectively:

  • Avoid Cotton Ear Buds: We know how popular these are, but are they actually doing more harm than good? In short, yes! Cotton ear buds can actually push earwax deeper into the ear canal and if the wax gets stuck, you may develop hearing difficulties or pain. If this happens, at Puri Pharmacy we have an expert earwax microsuction clinic that can safely remove the wax for you. You may need to use some ear drops to soften the wax first. 

  • Practice Good Ear Hygiene: While it’s essential to refrain from inserting objects into your ears, keeping the outer ear clean can help prevent excessive wax build-up. Gently wiping the outer ear with a damp cloth during your regular hygiene routine can suffice.

  • Visit Puri Pharmacy: If you’re experiencing symptoms of earwax build up, such as earache, hearing loss, or a sensation of fullness in the ear, simply give us  a phone call.  We can safely remove the excess wax using state of the art technology and tools to restore your hearing back to normal. 

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