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Hearing Healthcare Center, Inc.

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Blog/Newsletters

January 2015 Newsletter

Posted by Hearing Healthcare Center, Inc. on January 20, 2015 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

November 2014 Newsletter

Posted by Hearing Healthcare Center, Inc. on November 12, 2014 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (0)

October 2013 Newsletter

Posted by Hearing Healthcare Center, Inc. on October 4, 2013 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Why is there so much wax in my ear?

Posted by Hearing Healthcare Center, Inc. on September 11, 2013 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Cerumen, commonly known as ear wax, is a hydrophobic (that is it repels water) protective covering in the ear canal. It acts to shield the skin of the external canal from water damage, infection, trauma, and foreign bodies. This is good for swimmers and divers. Lakes are full of critters that could get in the ear. Pools are full of chemicals that could cause ear infections. And yet, cerumen is water soluble. That means a nice long soak in a bubble bath will help remove any wax build-up. It also has an anti-fungal property that keeps mold from growing in that dark, warm, moist environment we call an ear canal.


Wax is produced only in the outer third of the ear canal and starts as a mixture of fatty secretions from the sebaceous glands and sweat glands in the walls of the ear canal. The acts of chewing and talking help it to move on out to the ear shell where it can be removed easily. At least that’s how it works in a perfect world.


Okay, we know what it is, what it does, and how it is supposed to work. But, why is there SO MUCH of it?! There are a number of reasons ear wax might accummulate.

1. An excess of hairs within your ear canal can trap the wax as it moves down toward the opening of the ear. We typically see this more in gentlemen. As they age the hair in their ears becomes more coarse and more plentiful.

2. Deformed or very narrow ear canals will also trap wax on its way out. Ear surgery may change the shape of the ear canal as it heals. Congenital differences may very well cause wax build-up problems your whole life.

3. Some folks just have a history of recurring ear wax build-up due to over active wax producing glands. These are modified sweat and oil glands. Some people sweat more than others, and some have oily skin. Some people have waxy ears.

4. Hearing aids block the natural exit path for wax. This is another reason why a routine check-up every six months with your audiologist is a great idea. The hearing aids and the ears can be cleaned up!

 

5. Ear wax becomes drier and harder as we age. It’s just a chemical change like so many others we have to get used to. Sigh…


So, how do you get it out? At your next health check-up, ask your provider to look in your ears to see if there is wax that needs removed. If there is, have it cleaned out. Maintaining that clean canal is as easy as letting water run into and out of your ears when you wash your hair, as long as you have an intact eardrum. If you have a hole in the eardrum, KEEP WATER OUT!