Why Does Earwax Accumulate?

Close up image of ear with earwax buildup.

It’s likely that earwax and its accumulation haven’t been subjects of extensive consideration for you, except maybe during ear hygiene sessions. Still, it’s crucial to have an understanding of its purpose and how it develops.

So why does earwax accumulate?

Earwax, technically identified as cerumen, is a dense combination of debris, hair, skin particles, sweat, and ceruminous gland secretions. Earwax will show up as a waxy substance that will normally be yellow, orange, brown, or even grey.

In most instances, kids tend to generate more earwax than adults. Furthermore, adult earwax is usually darker and denser compared to that of children.

Earwax gets expelled or washed out after passing the outer ear canal and reaching the opening of the ear.

Why do we need earwax?

Here are some important functions that earwax serves:

  • Protecting and moisturizing the skin lining the ear canal, thereby preventing dryness and itchiness.
  • Acting as a protective barrier against outside irritants such as dirt, dust, and other foreign particles before they penetrate deeper into the ear.
  • Fending off potential infections that may occur within the ear canal.

Earwax blockages

Impacted earwax is a prevalent issue, but it’s typically the only time you need to be concerned about it. Sometimes, earwax is unable to easily get to the opening of the ear as a result of narrow or abnormally shaped ear canals.

Wax can be accidentally pushed up into the ear canal by utilizing poor cleaning methods like using cotton swabs.

Earwax blockages are often experienced by individuals who often use earplugs, earbuds, or hearing aids.

How is hearing impacted by excessive earwax?

The occurrence of earwax blockages might yield mild discomfort and impact auditory health.
Additionally, significant accumulations of earwax can trigger tinnitus, a sensation of ringing in the ears.

Untreated earwax obstructions may intensify into middle ear infections, perforated eardrums, or lasting hearing loss due to acoustic trauma.

Addressing impacted earwax

It’s crucial that you get in touch with us as soon as you can if you think your ears may be blocked by earwax. You might be advised to use over-the-counter products like a bulb syringe or earwax softening drops to clean the wax out, depending on the severity of the blockage.

If you’re worried about your earwax buildup, call us today to schedule an appointment.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.