Why Does Earwax Accumulate?

Close up image of ear with earwax buildup.

You probably don’t give much thought to earwax accumulation unless you’re in the process of clearing it out. However, comprehending what causes earwax, how it develops, and its purpose is essential.

So why does earwax build-up?

Earwax, scientifically called cerumen, is a dense combination of debris, hair, skin particles, sweat, and ceruminous gland secretions. This earwax presents with a waxy consistency and can show shades of orange, yellow, gray, or brown.

While the production amount of earwax varies from individual to individual, adults usually produce less earwax than children. Furthermore, adult earwax tends to be darker and denser compared to that of children.

Earwax goes by the outer ear canal naturally, eventually reaching the ear opening, where it either self-expels or gets washed away when you bathe.

Why do we need earwax?

Here are some important functions that earwax serves:

  • Fending off potential infections that might occur within the ear canal.
  • Before things such as dust, dirt, or other external debris go further up into the ear canal, earwax acts as a roadblock.
  • Preventing itchiness and dryness by lubricating and safeguarding the lining of the ear canal.

Earwax blockages

Impacted earwax is a common problem, but it’s usually the only time you need to be concerned about it. In some cases, earwax is unable to easily get to the opening of the ear as a result of narrow or unusually shaped ear canals.

Wax can be unintentionally crammed up into the ear canal by utilizing poor cleaning methods like using cotton swabs.

Earwax blockages are frequently experienced by people who often use earplugs, earbuds, or hearing aids.

How too much earwax can impact hearing

Auditory health may be hindered and you might feel minor discomfort.
Ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, might also happen.

Untreated earwax obstructions might intensify into middle ear infections, perforated eardrums, or enduring hearing impairment as a result of acoustic trauma.

How do you tackle impacted wax?

If you think you have an earwax blockage, consulting us immediately is essential. You might be advised to use over-the-counter products like a bulb syringe or earwax softening drops to clean the wax out, depending on the severity of the blockage.

If you’re worried about your earwax buildup, call us today to schedule an appointment.

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.