Ear wax is quite normal and natural, but you have to take into account several things, from its color and texture, the smell of the ear, what causes the accumulation of wax and if we can clean it ourselves or not.
The ear canal is developed in such a way that it cleans itself. As a general rule, the earwax is expelled out when it is dry, but there are times when it is not and that is when it begins to accumulate and we feel itching, even leading to hearing loss in the most serious cases.
The ears are essential and very delicate. What we must always avoid is to introduce a stick or sharp utensil without the supervision of a specialist, since we could damage them forever.
What is ear wax and how is it formed?
Earwax is completely natural and consists of a mixture of viscous and non-viscous secretions from the sebaceous and sweat glands , respectively. The main components of earwax are the end products of the metabolic pathway such as squalene, lanosterol and cholesterol.
The ear, or rather its shape, acts like a conveyor belt, so the normal thing is that it only cleans itself and expels the remains. But there are times when that process fails and the dreaded stacks appear.
Ear wax has important functions such as protecting the ear from external agents , hydrates and lubricates the ear canal for proper hearing health and, finally, it is antibacterial.
What symptoms does its accumulation cause in the ears?
The accumulation of wax inside the ear is prone to the use of headphones (of any type except external or bone conduction), swabs and external plugs (for swimming, sleeping, manipulating machinery, etc.).
Having wax in your ears is not as good an idea as it may seem, as much as it is a natural process. There are many symptoms derived from the scarce discharge of earwax and some of them are bad smell, itching, discomfort and irritation.
Then there are other somewhat more serious consequences, since this dirt can cause dizziness, loss of balance, ringing in the ear, a feeling of plugging and partial hearing loss , among others.
Then there are the serious consequences, and both in these, as in the previous ones, the correct thing is to go to an otolaryngologist to have the hearing device checked.
Among the most serious consequences we have dizziness, liquid discharge (sometimes of different colors, even bleeding), severe pain, acute otitis, bad smell in the ear canal, total hearing loss , etc.
The color, shape and smell of earwax indicate our hearing health
It may seem a bit disgusting to look at ear wax, but it is very important. As with feces, its shape, color and whether or not it floats in water are clear indicators of our health.
The ears are very sensitive and seeing the appearance of the earwax is key to detecting possible infections. The color of the earwax is usually yellowish and, with the passage of days, it oxidizes and can end up being dark brown. If when we see it we see that it is whitish, or greenish and even grayish , it is an unequivocal sign that something is wrong and we could be having an infection.
As for the texture, if it is dry, in the form of a flake, everything is in order, as well as if we see it creamy. The problem comes when it is a liquid discharge , there it is clear that we are facing an ear infection that must be treated before it becomes acute otitis (they are VERY painful).
How can I clean my ears?
The issue of hearing hygiene is best put in the hands of an otolaryngologist, and more so when we suffer from some type of problem related to that organ. Any malpractice or any product not indicated can do us a lot of damage, even irreparable damage.
In this case, it is better to avoid home remedies related to olive oil, hydrogen peroxide, milk, and the like. In addition, excessive hygiene in the ears is also inadvisable , since it can cause a low pH, favoring the appearance of infections and otitis.
In pharmacies they sell cleaners to remove wax from the ears, but first we should consult that purchase with a professional. If we opt for these cleaners, we must choose one that is adapted to our age and our needs . But above all buy it in a pharmacy, nothing to look for it on Amazon and the like.
It is widely used by professionals and is not harmful to the ear , as long as you know how to use it properly.
To clean the ear, we need a syringe and fill it with physiological saline (it is also bought in pharmacies and is cheap). We bow our head and stretch our ear upwards and empty the syringe into the ear.
We wait a couple of minutes and tilt our head to the opposite side to drop all the dirt. We can help ourselves with a cotton ball to clean the duct well, but never insert it inside and scrape the walls.
Don’t use cotton buds
The wax from the ears expels itself and its existence has protective functions, as we have already seen in previous sections, this is why the rods are the enemy.
It’s funny how the use of a utensil that is not recommended has become popular. By introducing the swab into the ear, we can extract earwax, yes, but a part of it will be squeezed and accumulated on the internal walls of the organ, creating plugs and infections.
In addition, the rods can touch some parts of the middle ear, such as the eardrum, and lose hearing completely.
Go to an otolaryngologist
If we think we have an infection, we should not use serum or swabs, or our own finger, and much less, some home remedy of oil, or milk and the like. If the pain is very strong, we can go to the emergency room , otherwise, if it is an itch or a plug we can go to our trusted otolaryngologist.