Audiology & Hearing Care of SWFL - Bonita Springs, FL

Woman suffering from earwax blockage applying ear drops herself

When you take a shower, always remember to clean your ears. Whenever you say that, you inescapably use your “parent voice”. Maybe you even remember getting that advice as a child. That’s the sort of memory that can take you back to simpler times as you wrap yourself in the nostalgia of childhood.

But it’s also great advice. Uncontrolled earwax accumulation can cause a substantial number of issues, particularly for your hearing. And additionally, earwax can solidify inside your ear and become really hard to clean. In a nutshell, the clearer you keep your ears, the better off you’ll be.

Excessive earwax? Eww!

Okay, earwax is not the most appealing of materials. That’s a viewpoint that most people share. But it is actually important for the health of your ears. Earwax is manufactured by glands inside of your ears and is then pushed out when you chew in order to keep your ears free of dust and dirt.

So your ears will remain clean and healthy when they generate the right amount of earwax. However counterintuitive it seems, the reality is that earwax itself isn’t a sign of poor hygiene.

The troubles begin when your ears produce too much earwax. And it can be somewhat challenging to know if the amount of earwax being generated is healthy or too much.

What is the impact of excess earwax?

So, what type of impact does excess earwax present? There are numerous problems that could develop due to out-of-control earwax or earwax that builds up over time. Here are a few:

  • Dizziness: Your ability to manage balance depends heavily on your inner ear. You can suffer from bouts of dizziness and balance problems when your inner ear is having trouble.
  • Infection: Excess earwax can lead to ear infections. In some cases, that’s because the earwax can lock in fluid where it shouldn’t be.
  • Earache: An earache is one of the most prevalent indications of excess earwax. It doesn’t have to hurt too much (though, sometimes it can). This normally occurs when earwax is creating pressure in places where it shouldn’t be.
  • Tinnitus: Tinnitus is a condition where you hear a phantom buzzing or ringing in your ears. Tinnitus symptoms can show up or get worse when earwax accumulates inside your ear.

These are only a few. Headaches and discomfort can occur because of unchecked earwax buildup. If you wear hearing aids, excess earwax can impede them. This means that you may think your hearing aids are malfunctioning when the real issue is a little bit too much earwax.

Can earwax impact your hearing?

The quick answer is yes. One of the most typical problems associated with excess earwax is hearing loss. When earwax accumulates in the ear canal it causes a blockage of sound causing a form of hearing loss known as conductive hearing loss. Your hearing will usually go back to normal after the wax is cleared out.

But there can be long-term damage caused by excess earwax, especially if the buildup gets severe enough. And tinnitus is also normally temporary but when earwax blockage lingers, permanent damage can cause tinnitus to become an enduring condition.

Prevention, treatment, or both?

It’s a good plan to keep an eye on your earwax if you want to safeguard your hearing. It’s improper cleaning, not excess production that causes buildup in most instances (a cotton swab, for instance, will frequently compact the earwax in your ear rather than getting rid of it, eventually causing a blockage).

Frequently, the wax has gotten hard, dense, and unmovable without professional treatment. You’ll be capable of starting to hear again after you get that treatment and then you can start over, cleaning your ears the right way.

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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.