You may have many reasons to get your ear wax cleaned; Hygiene's maintenance is one of them. But do you really know what the Advantages and Disadvantages of Earwax Cleansing are? If not, you should be familiar with the advantages of earwax and the benefits and risks of ear wax removal.
Cerumen, or generally known as the earwax is a tacky substance that sits just above the eardrum. Earwax is made of skin cells (dead ones) from inside the canal. The skin inside the ear canal renews itself, and the dead cells clog to form this viscous solid.
The two major glands that help produce this waxy layer are known as ceruminous and the sebaceous glands. The ceruminous gland (sweat gland) sits just outside the auditory canal while the sebaceous glands excrete oil to keep the skin lubricated.
If you want to know what is earwax made of?, just remember these four major constituents, namely, Fatty Acids, Squalene, alcohol, and Cholesterol.
But if left untreated, the excess build-up can lead to earaches, feelings of heaviness in the ear, partial hearing loss, itchiness, cough, or even infection. Some people can even start experiencing ringing or noises in the ear, aka Tinnitus. Therefore, to avoid these problems, ear wax removal is important.
There are certain benefits of ear wax removal that many people regularly try to keep their ears clean. Here are the reasons why you should remove the ear wax sometimes if not often.
The excess of ear wax can lead to many auditory issues such as impartial hearing loss, discharge of waxy liquid, and dry wax could clog up to block the auditory canal that at worse can cause extreme pain. Other issues related to excessive ear wax are discharge of fluid from the ear canal, ear infections, cough, and permanent acute rhinitis.
Earwax softening oils and liquids work at a deeper level and can help you remove excessive amounts of cerumen that causes blockage. Ear irrigation is another technique to get the job done quickly and safely. You can start feeling the symptoms of Tinnitus due to heaviness inside the ear. In some cases, the sound may interfere with concentration and can lead to anxiety and depression. Thus, ear wax removal is an important way to keep the problem at bay and feel light.
Ear wax is the only barricade between the eardrum and outside particles, including airborne insects and organisms. Sometimes foreign particles like food, insects, or dirt can get into the ear. These external agents can turn infectious if they sit around inside the ear for a long time.
Thus, the solution is to safely and quickly remove the elements before they move deeper into the ear or damage the canal's sensitive areas.
Ceruminosis refers to a condition of partial or complete occlusion of the ear canal with wax that results in symptoms or prevents assessment of the ear canal, tympanic membrane (TM), or audiovestibular system.
Cerumen impaction occurs when the self-cleaning mechanism fails and ear wax accumulates in the auditory canal's exterior. If the ear wax doesn’t clean itself, the best is to remove it manually with experts' help.
On the contrary, medical studies suggest that the presence of ear wax benefits you in many ways. That said, there are also some Disadvantages of Ear Wax Removal which must be kept in mind.
Ear Wax or Cerumen acts as a natural protector of the eardrum and canal. The level of ear wax goes down the minimum amount upon frequent cleaning. A low level of cerumen due to excessive ear wax cleansing can turn your ears itchy.
Experts also suggest that cerumen is natural and doesn’t much help to clean as it cleans itself. This substance tends to keep the ear canal wet and moist and traps the external elements from moving inside the canal.
Most times, the ear cleans itself, and you don’t have to opt for different methods that may even cause damage to your ear canal or eardrum. Cotton swabs and pointed objects aren’t always required to flush out the ear wax as it flows to the outside naturally. Some people produce more ear wax than normal; even, in that case, cotton swabs and syringes are not the correct answer to clean the ear. The best solution to clear dry ear wax is to consult a specialist without taking further risks.
Excessive earwax can lead to permanent or temporary deafness, but surprisingly, not all hearing loss is caused due to ear wax. Ear irrigation method can be risky if you already have a damaged eardrum. The slight pressure during ear wax removal through irrigation can elevate the risk of a perforated eardrum.
Moreover, inserting a cotton-tipped swab or anything pointy into the ear can damage the ear canal or eardrum. A precise insertion or push of earwax farther into the canal can make it impossible to remove. Even a small amount of ear wax pressed close against the eardrum can result in severe pain and infections.
The Bottom Line
There are both advantages and disadvantages of Ear Wax Removal. Some people produce more cerumen, while some don’t. With the risks involved in an ear wax removal procedure, you must make sure your eardrum or canal is not already damaged. In this case, consult your doctor first.
As for the final suggestions, cotton-tipped swabs, unfolded paper clips, pen caps, etc., are never an excellent option to remove ear wax. Expect more harms than benefits if you are not cautious with the thin, delicate layer of eardrum covered by cerumen.
Ear wax is not actually the type of wax you use make use of in daily life; the four components mix with dead skin cells to form this vital layer of protection inside the ear. The main purposes of earwax are protecting the ear canal, lubricating the insides, keeping harmful organisms and particulate from creeping inside the ear.
Different people can experience problems due to excessive earwax production, and blockage is the most common one. How much ear wax builds up inside your ear and how faster it collects are something not under your control.
Earwax removal can be a delicate process, so be cautious when cleaning it. Avoid sticking your finger, pointy objects, or fingernails in your ears. You can scratch the delicate skin of the ear canal.
Sometimes, when earwax is removed using specific treatments, people can experience the following complications: Swimmer's ear (otitis external), earache, and short-term (temporary) hearing loss.
People enjoy scratching their ears because it feels good. The nerves in the ear are susceptible, and touching them with a cotton bud can create a sense of pleasure. Some people call this the itch-scratch cycle because it's difficult to stop once you start.
If you've been using sharp objects to clean your ears for years, you may have some impacted ear wax down at the far end of your ear canal, possibly jammed up against your eardrum.