Should you be concerned about ear wax?

man hurt from ear pickingEar wax seems like such a harmless thing, and, let's face it -- it's not something you usually talk want to talk about. But believe it or not, ear wax can become a problem – read on for some information on what ear wax is and how to take care of it and why you should bother.

What is ear wax?

The ear canal, the tube that goes from the eardrum to the outer ear, is made up of little hairs and also glands that make cerumen, a waxy substance. This cerumen has an important job – it keeps bacteria and other small debris from entering the ear, and it also helps to protect the delicate skin within the ear canal from irritation. Cerumen usually ends up at the opening of the ear, where it falls out or gets washed away. However, some people’s ears produce so much ear wax that it doesn’t get expelled easily – instead, it builds up and hardens. Too much ear wax can cause a lot of problems. It can cause earaches, dizziness, a stuffy feeling in the ears, and even hearing loss. Or, it can make you feel like you are losing your hearing when all you really need is your ears cleaned out.

What can be done about too much ear wax?

People commonly use cotton swabs at home to try to remove ear wax, but this often only pushes ear wax farther into the ear. Some people use ear “candling” or ear vacuum kits, but these are not recommended. Your doctor may recommend a professional cleaning, an irrigation of the ear canal, ear drops to help soften and break up the ear wax, or a combination of these. If you naturally produce a lot of ear wax, you may have to schedule regular ear wax removal so that it doesn’t build up and cause problems.

If you haven’t been hearing as well as you used to, it may be the result of ear wax or something more serious. Lakeside Allergy ENT can diagnose your hearing problem and provide the right treatment to help. Call Lakeside Allergy ENT at the Rockwall, Forney, or Wylie office. Call (972) 771-5443 today!

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