What is Ear Wax?
Ear wax is the sticky substance that comes out the opening of your ear canals. The technical name is cerumen. It is normal and healthy. There are two glands in the ear canal that make the wax. Each gland secretes an oil. When the two oils mix together it becomes cerumen. Sometimes one ear canal makes more wax than the other. This too is normal and natural.
Cerumen even has a purpose. First, most people are surprised to discover ear wax cleans the ear canal. As ear wax moves along the ear canal it collects dust, dirt and other debris in the ear canal bringing the debris out with it. Second, cerumen moisturizes the skin of the ear canal helping to prevent dry itchy ears. Third, chemicals in the wax help inhibit infections and fungus in the canals.
Hearing Aids and Cerumen
When cerumen gets into a hearing aid is can cause a couple of problems. It can plug up the opening in the hearing where the sound comes blocking the sound from coming out. Cerumen can also corrode parts of the hearing causing a costly repair. Cleaning hearing aids is important to keep them working well. Your audiologist will teach you how to clean your hearing aids.
Cerumen becomes a problem when it builds up in the ear canal blocking sound from reaching the eardrum. When wax builds up in the canal it needs to be cleaned out. DO NOT USE COTTON SWABS TO REMOVE EAR WAX FROM YOUR EARS. Cotton swabs can push the ear wax down to ear the eardrum making it hard to remove later or worse, you may push the swab through the eardrum.
We recommend having an audiologist remove the wax. You can help by using a wax drops in your canals for 3-4 days prior to your appointment. The drops soften the wax and it is easier to remove.
Wax Dos and Don’ts
Don’t put anything smaller then a elbow into the ear.
Don’t use cotton swabs to clean wax from your ears.
Using cotton swabs often pushes ear wax deep into the ear canal and on to the eardrum. This makes it more difficult and uncomfortable to remove.
Do use ear wax softening drops prior to your appointment for wax removal.
The drops soften the wax making it easier and to remove.
Call 440-205-8848 for an appointment.
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