Should We Clean Ear Wax?

How Often Should You Clean Ear Wax?

In the otorhinolaryngology clinic, many friends came because of the problem of ear wax. Originally look at other problems, incidentally check whether there are ear wax is not a few. These are the scenarios that happen almost every day:

 

Doctor, can you help me see if there is any ear wax?

Even when I finished the detailed ear appearance examination, I made sure that the ears were clean and no ear wax was blocked, many people felt a little sad.

Oh... No ear wax?

Really not? Doctor, would you like to see it again?

 

Recalling my childhood, but also every other period of time, I would quarrel for my mother to help clear ears wax, very enjoy that kind of itching, pain, and comfortable wonderful feeling, looking at the clear things, there is a sense of inexplicable achievement.

After becoming an otolaryngologist, because of my own experience, I can better understand the emotional entanglement of many friends about the love-hate interweaving of ear wax.

However, do you know whether or not to dig up ear wax? What happens if you don't dig your ear wax? When do you need to dig up ear wax? In fact, most of the ear wax can be removed unless symptoms are present.

 

How on earth is ear wax formed?

From the outside of our ears, we can see the external auditory canal and the inner eardrum. Under the thin skin of the external auditory canal, there are some sweat glands and glands that secrete sebum. These secretions mix with exfoliated epithelium, sometimes with some hair, and form what is commonly known as earwax or earwax. There are also more elegant medical terms, known as cerumen.

 

Would your ears be blocked if you didn't dig out ear wax?

Normally, you can imagine that the external auditory canal is like a conveyor belt, where the epithelium is pushed out slowly from the deepest eardrum. In this way, some dirt, dust or small things can be discharged from the ear canal, so that our ears will not be blocked. In addition, as we chew, we can also tract the external auditory canal to help the excretion of ear wax!

If there is a problem with the conveyor belt, it may affect the ability of the ear wax to discharge itself and further cause the accumulation of ear wax. Ear wax accumulate to a certain extent, causing symptoms, or causing the inspector to be unable to see the inner structure of the ear, which is called ear wax!

 

Attention should be paid to the symptoms and the inability of the examiner to see them clearly. If you only see ear wax, but without these two points, it is not really blocked. If the ear wax is not completely blocked or asymptomatic, it need not be treated.

 

What!? Ear wax actually have these functions!?

Previous studies have shown that ear wax are not only dirt in the ear, but also clean, lubricate and protect the external auditory canal. In addition to the fact that ear wax itself contains sebum to protect the skin, it also has a specific pH value that inhibits the growth of certain bacteria, like the first protective shield of the ear!

 

Since ear wax is good, why should they be cleared?

In some cases, ear wax cannot be discharged by themselves and accumulate in the ear canal. If the following symptoms are caused by blocked earwax, it can be removed:

1. Can't hear clearly

2. The ears feel stuffy

3. The ears are itchy

4. Earache

5. Odor in the ear

6. Cough

If the ear canal is blocked, the deeper structures (such as eardrum and middle ear cavity) can not be seen clearly, the ear canal needs to be removed.

 

In addition, if there are the following conditions, there is a higher chance of ear stuffing!

Diabetes mellitus: Diabetic patients' ear wax have a higher pH value (alkaline), which can easily breed bacteria, cause inflammation and increase secretions.

Radiotherapy: Patients with head and neck radiotherapy, such as nasopharyngeal and oral cancers. Wait a minute, the epithelium of the external auditory canal will become thinner, the secretory glands will atrophy, and the ear wax will become drier as a result. If the external auditory canal is injured, it is easy to cause serious infection, so special attention should be paid to it.

Some skin diseases, such as eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, etc. Wait a minute. It increases the chances of inflammation of the external auditory canal and stuffing of the ear canal.

It is easy to have ear wax when wearing hearing aids. What should we pay attention to?

Ear stuffing can affect the effect of wearing hearing aids, which may reduce hearing by 10 to 15 decibels. Even if the ear canal is partially blocked, it may change the resonance of the sound in the external auditory canal, affecting the middle and high frequency hearing.

About 70% of hearing aids are repaired because of exposure to ear wax. Therefore, if you or your family are wearing hearing aids, it is very important to maintain them in peacetime. It is recommended that people wearing hearing aids should check the external auditory canal every 3 to 6 months, in addition to regular cleaning of hearing aids!

When you have these symptoms, treat them as soon as possible!

Usually there are symptoms such as inability to hear clearly, stuffy ears, or itchy ears when the ear is stuffed. However, if you have the following symptoms, please pay special attention to:

1. Abnormal ear pain

2. There is secretion in the ear

3. Ear bleeding

4. Sudden deterioration of hearing

 

These are not symptoms of ear stuffing. Further examination is recommended. In addition, due to many diseases (such as otitis media, otitis externa, sudden deafness). Wait a minute) The initial symptoms will be like ear wax. If you don't know the cause, see an ear, nose and throat doctor as soon as possible!

 

How can I clear built-up ear wax?

I believe you've heard of many ways to clean up your ear wax. Here are three common ways to clean up your ear wax.

1. Irrigation of external auditory meatus

2. Ear drops softener

3. Manual removal with instruments

 

Is there any way to prevent earwax clogging?

1. Ear drops softener and hydrogen peroxide: but if there is infection or eardrum hole, it should be avoided.

2. Irrigation of external auditory canal: It is also not suitable for those with infection or eardrum hole.

3. Regular cleaning and maintenance of hearing aids

4. Check the ears regularly in the otolaryngology department

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