What is Ear Wax?

Earwax build-up can cause discomfort, hearing loss, dizziness, and even infections. It is important to remove excess earwax.

What is Ear Wax?

  • It is a mixture of dirt, dust, skin, sweat, and oils secreted by the skin inside the ear canal, also known as cerumen.
  • The canal is self-cleaning, with the shedded skin moving slowly outwards, taking any ear wax with it.
  • Cerumen is necessary for ear health and comfort, trapping dust, forming a barrier against foreign particles, and fighting bacteria and fungi.
  • Cerumen lubricates and moisturises the ear, preventing flaky skin from irritating and causing discomfort.
  • The amount of ear wax produced differs between individuals and can vary in texture, colour, and wetness

Excessive wax build-up can cause symptoms such as:

  • blocked ears
  • earache
  • tinnitus
  • dizziness
  • pain
  • crackling
  • popping
  • fullness
  • hearing loss

Why does excessive ear wax affect my hearing?  

  • Ear wax can block the ear canal and prevent sound waves from reaching the eardrum.

Can it cause ear infections?  

  • Excessive earwax can lead to infections, especially if the build-up is moist, as bacteria and other microorganisms thrive in the warm, moist environment of the ear canal.

Should I use Cotton buds or objects to clean my ears?  

  • The use of cotton buds or foreign body objects to clean the ear yourself can impede the natural cleaning process.
  • Trying to remove earwax yourself can cause injury and push the cerumen deeper into the ear canal.

What can I do to clean my ears?

  • Olive oil can be used to soften the wax and encourage its natural movement out of the canal.
  • You may need earwax removal by a certified professional. It’s important to note that attempting to remove ear wax yourself or anyone without the proper training can be dangerous and potentially cause more harm than good.

Best treatment for excessive ear wax is to:  

  • Seek a professional who has been trained in microsuction earwax removal, such as the Ear Nurses from Crystal Clear Ears.

Then you too can hear the difference!

Cindy Morris, Registered Nurse Education Coordinator