What happens when you have too much ear wax?
Our ears produce earwax (cerumen) as a defense mechanism. It acts as a protective barrier to keep dust/dirt and other germs and bacteria out of the ear. Believe it or not, we do not need to clean our ears with Q-tips because our ears are self cleaning. Earwax naturally works its way out of our ears with the movement of our jaws.
But, how do you know if you have too much ear wax?
You might notice that your ears feel full, or you have pressure build up. Your hearing might also be diminished. This can make everyday conversation and day to day life difficult. If you think your earwax has become a problem, don’t worry there are multiple solutions.
The first step would be to visit your doctor or an audiologist to visually assess your ears. That will determine if the wax is impacted or if you have an underlying hearing loss that can be causing a problem. If there is impacted cerumen, your provider will safely and effectively remove the cerumen using softening agents and irrigations with water or tools.
It is never safe to remove the earwax yourself using bobby pins, car keys, Q-tips, candling, or other instruments. Please, never stick anything smaller than your elbow inside of your ear!
If you have any concerns about impacted ear wax or your hearing, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Lemme Audiology by calling (814) 941-7770.
Jenessa Stiles, Au.D.