What Is Ear Wax | What is Cerumen?
All humans and mammals have Cerumen – a gray, yellowish brown waxy substance in the ear canal. Cerumen is a medical term for Earwax. Latest studies have revealed that Whales also have a built up of Earwax. Earwax consists of dead skin cells, hair and secretions in the ceruminous and sebaceous glands of the outside ear canal. Excess Cerumen or in simpler words excessive Earwax can press against the eardrum causing hearing loss.
Earwax gland or Ceruminous glands are a form of the apocrine gland which makes your Earwax stink. 60% of Earwax consists of keratin, 12-20% saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids, alcohols, squalene and 6-9% cholesterol.
Types Of Earwax
The wet Earwax: This kind of Earwax is sticky, yellowish brown to dark brown in color. People living in warmer regions have wet Earwax.
The dry Earwax: This kind of Earwax is crumbly, ashy or flaky. The color of dry Earwax is gray to tan. People living in cooler regions have dry Earwax.
Any type of Earwax completely depends on genetics.
What is Earwax and how is it good for you?
Earwax is Good and is there for a purpose. It protects water from entering the ear canal and causing infections. Earwax is a self-cleaning agent as it naturally comes out of the ear. Tests have shown Earwax having antibacterial and antifungal properties. Earwax acts as a lubricant for your ears. Earwax prevents dust, bacteria and other germs from entering and damaging your ear. Earwax is a mix of water-soluble secretions which represents one of your body’s most vital protective mechanism.
How To Clean Ears?
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Until really required Earwax should never be cleaned. Earwax is there for a purpose. Excess Earwax naturally moves out of the ear. Removal of Earwax happens with jaw movement like talking, chewing, etc. Once it reaches the outer canal Earwax gets cleaned by showering or bathing.
Why Should you clean wax from the ears?
Until the Earwax is not giving any problem it should just remain and come out naturally. Sometimes one feels a hearing loss as the Earwax blocks the canal, then it should be removed. Other reasons being like earaches, tinnitus or ringing noise in the ear, excessive itching, some kind of weird odor or any kind of discharge then it is advisable to get Earwax removed but under medical supervision.
How to clean children’s ears?
Earwax formation is natural and should not be removed for adults as well as children. Ears are a delicate part and bones in it are very fine. Children’s ears should be cleaned from outside with a soft damp cloth or cotton earbuds only from Out.
Warm olive, mineral or baby oil can be used to soften hard Earwax, only if It is there.
Anything abnormally noticed like blood or pus oozing out or any kind of odor or again any changes in hearing then the child should be immediately taken to the doctor. In any situation please do not panic.
How to clean ears wax at home | Best way to clean ears home remedy?
Earwax acts as a protective layer for your ears. If you feel that Earwax has built up then a few simple home remedies do work. Water cleansing or simple coconut or olive oil helps to soften the Earwax. Hydrogen peroxide has found to be effective in the removal of Earwax.
How to clean your ears with hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a primary component in ear drop solutions. It is always advisable to take medical help to prevent further complications. Usually, doctors prescribe ear drops which help in softening the Earwax.
What is the reason for Earwax building up again and again?
Earwax is very natural and forms as a protective layer for your ears. Various reasons have been found for excessive built up of Earwax.
- Repeated ear infections
- A narrow or partially formed ear canal
- Deficiency in Omega – 3 fatty acids
- Excess hair in the ear canal
What are the symptoms of Excessive Earwax?
Earwax is a protective layer for your ears preventing water, dust or dirt entering into the ear canal. Excessive Earwax leads to Ear infections.
Symptoms for ear infections
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Green or a yellow discharge from the ear
- Ear pain
- bad odor
At this point in time, a home remedy is a strict No. A doctor is to be seen at the earliest and a line of treatment has to be followed. Do not panic. Treatments for all kinds are available. Do follow the doctor’s advice.
Are Q tips safe for cleaning Earwax?
Earwax is a natural formation giving a protective layer to the ear canal. It prevents water to enter in the inner layers hence keeping it safe from infections. Not only does it keeps dust and dirt away but also provides antibacterial and lubricating properties and acts as a natural antibiotic.
Q tips are very comfortable as they enter the ear canal easily and pick our Earwax. Q tips almost touch the eardrum.T his could lead to very serious problems as it could puncture the eardrum or press the minute and delicate bones which are right under the eardrum. Without realizing you could do more harm to yourself. Pressing Q tips more towards the inside could send shock waves into the inner ear. This leads to hearing loss and body imbalance. Q tips can also push Earwax deeper either completely blocking the passage or leading to multiple complications.
Why do I cough while cleaning Earwax from my ears?
This is very uncommon. But still many people do complain of a cough during Earwax cleaning. A mechanical stimulation of external auditory measure activates the Vagus nerve which evokes a cough. Usually, patients who suffer from chronic cough experience this. This type of a cough is termed as Arnold’s Nerve Ear Cough. This also shows that the Vagal afferent nerves are hypersensitive. This can successfully be treated with gabapentin – a treatment which shows to be effective in the treatment of a cough due to sensory laryngeal neuropathy. Injury to various branches of Vagus nerves is a potential cause for unexplained chronic cough.
How can I flush out Earwax?
Earwax acts as a protective layer for preventing water, dust, dirt, and germs to enter our ears. Natural cleaning is advisable until and unless it causes any hindrance. Earwax when blocks your ear it is termed as Impaction. Due to this, there are impaired hearing, fullness or ringing in ears, cough, odor, dizziness.H earing aids and earplugs are again a cause of excessive Earwax. It is always best and sensible to take help from a medical professional. Doctors have various instruments like Cerumen or Earwax spoon, forceps, suction devices and of course ear drops.
If you need to do it at home then please do not insert bobby pins, cotton swabs or any sharp objects leading to multiple complications.
Earwax can be softened by putting ear drop softeners. This lets the Earwax melt naturally and move out of the ear.
Mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide, and saline water are recommended.
Earwax can be gently rinsed out with water and saline solution. Ear drops to soften the Earwax are a must before this. A syringe can simply pull out the Earwax.
Hydrogen peroxide is found to be effective in cleaning Earwax. It is a primary component in ear drop solutions.
What are the safety measures to keep in mind while Cleaning the Earwax?
Earwax is not a dirt or any kind of foreign object to be cleaned. It forms naturally and there is a reason for it to be there.
Earwax protects your ear canal from water which can enter while bathing or showering. Earwax also prevents dust, dirt to enter your ears.
Earwax has antibiotics, antifungal properties. It acts as a lubricant. Earwax cleaning is a complete No until it causes any harm. Excessive Earwax leads to an impaired hearing, earache, dizziness, bad odor from ears, body imbalance, etc.
A cause for Excess Earwax is using hearing aids or earplugs Narrow or partially formed ear canals also leads to the formation of Earwax. Excess hair in the ear canal could also be the cause of Earwax.
Deficiency in Omega – 3 fatty acids is another reason for excessive Earwax.
Few things to keep in mind before removing the Earwax.
The following should be avoided.
- Bobby pins
- cotton swabs
- any sharp objects
All the above objects could push the Earwax in more inner canals causing several health issues. It is always advisable to go to the doctor and get yourself treated in the right way. Word of advice Does not panic in any situation. A doctors help is always recommended.