The sebum or oil secreted by the skin inside the ear which along with pigments , long chain fatty acids, , alcohols, squalene, cholesterol and little amount dead skin cells forms wax.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WAX?
- It has antibacterial, antifungal , antiviral property which protects our ears from infection.
- It acts as a barrier to prevent water and foreign bodies to enter inside the ear.
- It lubricates ear skin, which prevents itching , irritation and even eczema.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO CLEAN WAX?
we don’t have to do anything to clean ear wax because it has its normal fluidity due to which it flows outside regularly, in small amounts that we don’t even feel it.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES FOR EAR BLOCKAGE DUE TO WAX OR EXCESSIVE WAX FORMATION?
- RACIAL FACTOR: Asian population has ‘dry wax’ ( Less oil component ) as compared to Europeans and Americans who have ‘wet wax’ ( More oil component ). Dry wax cant flow outside easily as compared to wet wax.
- NARROW EAR CANAL : Some patients have narrow ear canal from birth due to which the wax cannot flow outside .
- THICK AND MORE HAIRS IN EAR CANAL : More hairs means more sebaceous gland leading to more wax formation.
- USING EAR PHONES / EAR PLUGS.
- USING HEARING AIDS.
- USING EAR BUD : The cotton of ear buds absorbs oil inside the ear decreasing the fluidity of wax, making it prone to collect inside the ear . Secondly ear buds pushes the wax inside the ear which further collects more wax and disrupts normal flow of wax
- CHEWING : Chewing motion of the temporomandibular joint pushes wax outside the ear. Kids, old people and patients with debilitating disease due to which they are not eating orally or taking semisolid / liquid diet, have tendency to wax build up
- EAR WASHING : Washing ears with shampoo or any strong face wash, soap or body wash. It disrupts the normal “ph” of ear affecting quality and quantity of wax.
- LIFESTYLE : Unhealthy lifestyle of irregular eating habits or eating more acidic food , irregular and long sleeping hours , lack of exercise , dehydration , all these affect body “ph” with bad impact on quality & quantity of wax.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF EXCESSIVE EAR WAX?
- Heaviness in ear
- Decreased hearing
- Ringing sensation in ear ( Tinnitus )
- Itching or irritation in ear
- Sometimes pain
WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREVENT WAX BLOCKING OUR EARS?
- EAR BUDS: Do not use Ear buds, we don’t need ear buds as wax keeps on flowing outside the ear every day, in small proportions that we don’t even feel it. The more you use ear buds, the more you have dryness, itching , irritation , clogging of ears with wax, ear infections or eczematous changes in ear skin.
- EAR PHONES :Avoid ear phones instead use headphones
- HEARING AIDS : People using hearing aids should come for regular ENT checkup and also get regular servicing & cleaning of hearing aids.
- CHEWING : Chew food properly and consciously try to eat from both sides . ( Usually People have tendency to chew from one side more as compared to other side )
- EAR WASHING : Don’t wash your ears with any soap, shampoo, face wash or body wash. It can be simply washed with plain water but avoid water to go inside the ear.
- LIFESTYLE : Have regular and healthy food and sleeping habits to maintain healthy phof body which will definitely have good impact on the wax.
- SLEEPING POSTURE : It has very small & subtle impact e.g if one sleeps more on right side then he /she will have more wax blocked ear on left side ( Usually People have tendency to sleep on one side more as compare to other side )