When you take a shower, always remember to wash your ears. Whenever you say that, you inevitably use your “parent voice”. Maybe you even recall getting that advice as a kid. As you get caught up in past nostalgia, that kind of memory can take you back to simpler times.
But it’s also great advice. Your hearing can be significantly impacted by an overabundance of earwax. Even worse, this organic substance can harden in place making it challenging to clean out. In a nutshell, the clearer you keep your ears, the better off you’ll be.
Excessive earwax? Eww!
Earwax is, well, kind of gross. That’s an opinion that most individuals share. But it is actually essential for your ear’s health. Earwax is produced by glands inside of your ears and is then pushed out when you chew in order to keep your ears free of dust and dirt.
So your ears will remain clean and healthy when they generate the ideal amount of earwax. It might seem weird, but earwax doesn’t indicate 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 produced is healthy or too much.
What is the consequence of accumulated earwax?
So, what kind of impact does excess earwax have? There are several problems that may develop as a result of out-of-control earwax or earwax that builds up over time. Here are a few:
- Dizziness: Your inner ear is essential to your balance. You can suffer from episodes of dizziness and balance problems when your inner ear is having issues.
- Tinnitus: When you hear ringing or buzzing that isn’t actually there, you’re usually suffering from a condition called tinnitus. Earwax accumulation can cause tinnitus symptoms to worsen or to emerge.
- Infection: Infections can be the outcome of surplus earwax. Sometimes, that’s because the earwax can trap fluid where it shouldn’t be.
- Earache: An earache is one of the most common symptoms of excess earwax. Sometimes, it doesn’t hurt that much, and other times it can hurt a lot. This usually occurs when earwax is causing pressure in places where it shouldn’t be.
These are only a few. Ignored earwax can cause painful headaches. If you wear hearing aids, excess earwax can impede them. This means that you may think your hearing aids are malfunctioning when the real issue is a bit too much earwax.
Can earwax impact your hearing?
Well, yes it can. Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent problems connected to excess earwax. Normally causing a form of conductive hearing loss, earwax accumulates in the ear canal, stopping sound waves and vibrations from getting in. Your hearing will usually go back to normal after the wax is cleaned out.
But if the buildup becomes severe, long term damage can develop. The same is true of earwax-related tinnitus. It’s typically temporary. But the longer the excess earwax hangs around (that is, the longer you disregard the symptoms), the greater the danger of long-term damage.
Prevention, treatment, or both?
It’s a good idea to keep track of your earwax if you want to safeguard your hearing. In many cases, earwax accumulation is caused not by excessive production but by incorrect cleaning (for example, blockage is frequently caused by cotton swabs, which will push the earwax further in rather than removing it).
Frequently, the wax has gotten hard, thick, and unable to clear without professional help. 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.