What is Earwax
Ever heard of too much of a good thing? Too much earwax can often cause serious problems. Earwax, scientifically known as cerumen, is a combination of sweat, dead skin cells from the inner ear, and sebum (a waxy oil secreted from the glands inside the ear canal). Although it may seem gross, it is a naturally occurring substance that lubricates and protects the inside of the ear from dirt, bacteria, and anything else that might try to sneak its way into the ear canal.
What Color Is Your Earwax?
Earwax comes in many different colors, depending on your age and genetic makeup. Anywhere from yellow to light brown indicates healthy earwax. However, if your wax is dark brown it could be old, impacted, and have all sorts of gross stuff in it like dirt, bugs, and hair. Yuck!
If your earwax has any red coloration, go see your doctor; you could have bleeding or an infection
Don’t worry, not all earwax is bad! However, too much can lead to hearing loss, pain, or worse. One of the most common earwax-related health issues is earwax impaction, which occurs when wax starts to clog the ear canal. Everyday movement of the jaw from chewing and talking typically pushes earwax out of the ear; however, in some cases this movement isn’t enough to get rid of all the sticky stuff.
The self-cleaning process of earwax can be curbed by the presence of objects in the ear, such as hearing aids or ear buds.
Over time, wax can build up within the ear, blocking the eardrum. The eardrum doesn’t have to be completely blocked for you to start having trouble hearing. Any blockage of the eardrum that causes symptoms or obstructs vision into the ear is considered cerumen impaction.
Earwax impaction often creeps up on us when we are least expecting it! Let’s face it, we all have earwax and sometimes we just want to do a quick clean. Therefore, we feel compelled to use a cotton swab, bobby pin or even car keys to scrape out unwanted wax. The problem is, not only are these methods ineffective, but they actually make the problem worse!
When Earwax Removal Attempts Backfire
Attempt to remove earwax with one of these objects, we are actually pushing the wax further into the ear, gradually leading to impaction. Not only that, but sticking foreign objects into your ear can actually puncture the eardrum, break bones behind the ear and a number of other scary things. Catch my drift? For the more stubborn readers, let me put it this way, leave your keys in the ignition and use Earwax MD to safely clean away earwax. Head over to our blog to learn more about the downside of some earwax removal methods.
Are You Suffering from Earwax Impaction?
Manual Removal Can Be Painful
If you choose not to use EARWAX MD™, there are other methods of extraction available. Doctors can manually remove earwax using an ear curette, which is effective but can also be extremely painful. There are a number of devices that claim to remove earwax… but we’ll let you be the judge of whether or not those work.
Earwax impaction can lead to serious complications.
Treating earwax impaction incorrectly can result in complications such as eardrum perforation, ear canal laceration, infection of the ear, or hearing difficulties.