The amount of earwax build-up you're experiencing depends on many factors, including the very thing most of us use to clean blockages: cotton swabs. Notwithstanding this surprise, it's relatively easy to remove excessive earwax with the correct methods, so in this brief post, we'll outline the causes of earwax build-up and how to address the issue if it's bothersome.
What’s the primary cause of excessive earwax?
Some people secrete more earwax than others, which suggests that excessive earwax has a hereditary component, yet we're often the cause of the blockage. Earbud-style headphones, hearing aids, swimming plugs, Bluetooth headsets, and anything else we place inside the ear can lead to a build-up over time.
Not only that, but medical conditions like osteoma and exostoses can block the ear as well. The colloquial term for either of these problems is a bony blockage, which may or may not correlate with a narrowed ear canal. Generally, those are the most likely causes, and thankfully, the signs of too much earwax are relatively easy to identify.
How can you tell if you’ve developed too much earwax?
Initially, the signs of too much earwax are primarily subtle, so much so that most of us don't notice them. You might be experiencing something mild like a sensation of fullness in the inner ear, making sounds slightly muffled or distant. However, if you've developed ear pain, it's vital to consult a physician to determine the extent of any potential blockage.
Similarly, along with pain, you might feel the ear draining fluid, or there may be a foul odour emanating from the ear. Either way, the wise course would be to contact a specialist for ear wax removal in Chester if you reside nearby the area.
Can certain medical conditions cause earwax blockages too?
The ear is one of the most sensitive parts of the body; even the slightest damage can have long-lasting, if not lifelong, adverse health effects. Interestingly, certain medical conditions can also cause the build-up, including the autoimmune disease lupus, eczema, or external otitis – commonly known as "swimmer's ear. However, anyone can develop it, not only swimmers.
What’s the risk of treating earwax build-up at home?
Undoubtedly, the primary risk is damaging the inner ear, which happens more often at home than in a clinical setting. Most of us simply shove cotton swabs deep into our ears, swirl it around a bit, and try to scrape away any earwax that comes loose; however, pushing a single millimetre too deep – and only once – is sufficient to block the ear canal.
Thus, you may accidentally make the problem worse, which is a common cause of the build-up itself. Still, if you're not 100 percent certain that you can safely remove earwax at home, a professional may perform an ear syringing procedure, which is a standard method for removing earwax.