Stop Removing Ear Wax: It Is Good for Your Ear
– Ear wax: protection for your ear
– Disturbances in wax production
Considering ear wax as a dirty material and trying to eliminate it at all costs is not necessarily a correct attitude.
In this post, you will find that earwax offers outstanding protection to these fragile sensory organs!
Ear wax: protection for your ear
Ear wax, or earwax, is a yellowish waxy material that lines the outer ear canal of the ear.
It is produced in a cartilaginous area and consists of a mixture of secretions produced by two types of glands:
– sweat glands, called cerumen glands;
– sebaceous glands, which produce sebum, an oily substance that protects the skin.
Cerumen contains mainly lipids (fats), the proportion of which increases in winter, but also amino acids and minerals.
Good to know: there are two different types of earwax: dry earwax, which is more frequently found in Asian and Amerindian populations, and wet earwax, which is present in European and Asian populations.
Wax plays different roles:
– It ensures good lubrication of the external auditory canal, in order to prevent it from drying out and causing itching.
– It plays a cleaning role. In the external auditory canal, the skin migrates from the eardrum to the entrance of the canal through a phenomenon called “epithelial migration”. This migration, accentuated by the movements of our jaws, is of the order of 2 mm per month. Thus, the cerumen moves slowly, taking with it the impurities: dead skin, dust, etc..
– It protects your ear from aggression by pathogenic micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi).
– Due to its hydrophobic properties, it prevents water stagnation in the ear canal.
Good to know: cerumen helps to acidify the external auditory canal (pH 5.2 to 7), which contributes to creating a hostile environment for microbes.
Disruptions in earwax production
Cerumen is sometimes produced excessively, which can lead to the formation of plugs and reduced hearing acuity.
The causes leading to this overproduction are varied:
– Genetic in origin: the amount of ear wax varies naturally from one person to another.
– The presence of numerous impurities in the environment, for example in people working in a profession where the environment is very dusty.
– The wearing of objects inserted in the ear canal: protective plugs, earphones, etc.
– The consequence of excessive hygiene, aggressive gestures and the use of cotton swabs.
It also happens that cerumen accumulates due to poor drainage, for anatomical reasons for example, when the ear canal is slightly sinuous or very narrow.
The opposite phenomenon also exists: cerumen is sometimes produced insufficiently. This deficit leads to ear eczema, which results in serious itching, with a risk of superinfection of the wounds. In such cases, your ears will need to be treated by a professional.
The following links will help you to take care of your ears:
- Custom Earmolds and Earplugs
- Diagnostic Audiologic Evaluations
- Hearing Aid Evaluation and Selection
- Hearing Aid Dispensing and Fitting
- Hearing Aid Repairs
- Live Speech Mapping
- Musician’s Earplugs and Monitors
- Real Ear Measurement
- Tinnitus Evaluation and Management
The audiology office of Harbor City Hearing Solutions in Melbourne, FL serves patients in the local community including Viera, Rockledge, Suntree, Titusville, Mims, Port St. John, Merritt Island, Palm Shores, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Indian Harbor Beach, Satellite Beach, Indialantic, Sebastian, Melbourne Beach, West Melbourne, Malabar, Grant, Palm Bay…all of Brevard County and Indian River County.
Hope you good health ahead. Remember to share your experience in the section below.