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What Causes Ear Wax Buildup And How It Can Safely Be Removed?
The ear is a complex and delicate part of the human body, and something as simple and commonplace as a buildup of ear wax can lead to a whole host of problems. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy steps that can be taken to remedy the situation. Read on to discover the causes of ear wax buildup and learn how you can safely remove it yourself at home.
The Causes Of Ear Wax Buildup
Ear wax is a natural and inevitable part of life, and like so many other bodily functions, it actually serves a vital purpose in keeping us healthy. Ear wax is designed to protect the delicate inner ear from dirt and germs, which can lead to infection.
However, too much ear wax is a problem, and a buildup can be caused by a range of factors. Those with a naturally narrower ear canal or a damaged inner ear may likely find themselves more prone to suffering from an accumulation of ear wax, as will those who have a plentiful amount of hair growing inside their ears. People with any skin condition affecting the area around the ear or scalp are also likely to find they have more ear wax buildup, as will anyone who has conditions such as otitis externa (better known as “swimmer's ear”.)
Problems Can Arise
When you suffer a buildup of ear wax, it can lead to a range of unwelcome symptoms. These include the ear feeling blocked, hearing loss, pain or irritation in the ear, tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears that doesn't go away), and vertigo (feelings of nausea, particularly when moving around.) Some of these symptoms can have a very real and detrimental effect on your quality of life, so it is important to deal with the situation as quickly as possible. If you have a buildup of wax for five days or longer, it can lead to an ear infection, which will likely be even more painful and trickier to treat, so it is best to address the problem before it grows out of control.
Removing Ear Wax Safely
While a great deal of ear wax naturally falls out of the ear during the everyday course of events, sometimes a little bit of extra attention is needed. A good method is to apply around 2 to 5 drops of olive or almond oil in your ear around 3 to 4 times a day over a period of 3 to 5 days. Be sure to choose a medical-grade olive or almond oil rather than raiding the pantry, and apply with a clean dropper or pipette while laying your head on one side. It's best if you can keep your head in this position for a few minutes to really allow the oil to get into your ear canal and start to soften up the buildup of ear wax. Alternatively, an over-the-counter remedy such as the Innerscope Easy Ear Wax Removal And Ear Cleaner will make a good choice as a substitute for oil and includes a handy spray applicator.
You may have heard of therapies such as ear candles and ear vacuums as a means of getting rid of unwanted ear wax, but there is no evidence to show that these methods work. Instead, the much simpler approach above is recommended by experts, and this can easily be carried out at home for little expense.
Most importantly, remember that you should never insert anything into your ear canal to aid in the cleaning process; this means no fingers or cotton swabs! Using tools such as these can actually make the problem worse as they can push the ear wax further into the ear canal. If you have a specific problem with your ear, such as a perforated ear drum, you should check with your physician or pharmacist before applying any home remedies or store-bought ear wax removal sprays.
Part Of A Healthy Ear Care Regimen
Of course, everybody should take the time to attend to their ear hygiene properly, but for those who need to wear a hearing aid or other audio device, it's especially important that a good ear-cleaning regimen is adhered to. Looking after the health of your ears can help to protect your hearing, and keeping clean can even help to prolong the life of any hearing aids you use. It really is a smart step to add to your routine.