About Ear Wax
Everything you need to know about earwax
Specialised glands known as cerumen glands actively create ear wax deep under the skin of the ear canal. Connected to the glands are the cerumen ducts which allow the ear wax to travel to the surface of the skin to be deposited in the ear canal via the numerous cerumen pores.
Earwax plays a very important part in protecting our ears on a daily basis by reacting to foreign bodies and surrounding them. Once enveloped the captured microbial organisms, dead skin cells and various other debris is removed from the ear canal by the earwax migrating outwards.
So we know that earwax is a normal and necessary process of protecting our ears, it repels insects, maintains normal PH levels and traps dirt and dust from the environment.
BUT WHAT TO DO WHEN WE DEVELOP TOO MUCH EARWAX?
If left untreated the earwax can continue to build up, making it even more difficult to remove and leaving your ears feeling blocked and reducing your hearing. In some cases the blockage can be so severe that people are left feeling constant pressure and pain.
Here are some typical indicators of earwax build up:
- Loss of hearing
- Tinnitus...noises in the ear
- Constant or intermittent whistle from hearing aids
- Your own voice sounds deeper and hollow to yourself
- Itchy ears
Earwax can be particularly bothersome for people with hearing aids because it can cause hearing aids to whistle loudly and uncontrollably or even prevent the hearing aids from working at all. The pictures on the left compare an ear canal full of earwax with a clear ear canal so that sound can travel without obstruction to the eardrum.
EARWAX IS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF A WHISTLING HEARING AID
The whistling will only stop once the earwax is removed so that the sounds produced by the hearing aids can travel efficiently through the ear canal and no more whistling will occur.