What causes earwax?

The plug, known as ear wax among people, is formed in the area between the auricle and the eardrum, defined as the outer ear. There are glands that make up the ear secretion under the skin surface in the narrowed middle region of the outer ear. These glands produce a moist secretion to prevent dust and dirt from entering the ear from outside and reaching the eardrum. Dust and dirt entering the ear adheres to the secretion called serum in the outer ear tongue and dries up. With the epidemic drying, the wax is thrown from the outer ear to the auricle. For this reason, earwax is more common in people working in dusty and dirty environments. Therefore, earwax is not a kind of dirt, contrary to what is commonly thought, but a natural defense system that protects the ear from infections and prevents the ear from irritating.

What causes earwax?

The outer ear is the region of cylindrical shape between the auricle and the eardrum, narrowing in the middle, consisting of bone and cartilage. There are glands under the skin in this area. Dark brown or pale yellow secretion, called serum, secreted by the glands makes the inside of the ear moist. The main task of this pandemic is to prevent dust and sand particles in the air, as well as these tiny particles from reaching the eardrum. These foreign substances in contact with the outer ear adhere to the cylindrical structure of the outer ear. This secretion, called cerumen, also protects the ear against bacteria that may come from outside. The ear dries up with foreign substances entering the ear canal into the ear secretion. In addition to the movement of the skin from the inside out, the dried secretion in the ear canal is thrown into the auricle with the movement of the chin. The main reason for the formation of the plug, known as earwax, is to protect the eardrum against foreign objects and bacteria. Frequent cleaning of ear secretions leaves the eardrum vulnerable and facilitates infection. At the same time, complaints such as itching may occur due to dryness in the ear canal. The problem of causing earwax can be answered in this way. Causes of earwax formation are as follows:

  • Being in dusty and dirty environments for a long time
  • Swelling of ear secretion during sea, pool and shower
  • The outer ear canal is structurally narrow and therefore the plug cannot be thrown out of the ear.
  • Frequent use of devices such as hearing aids, plugs and headphones
  • Ear cleaning by inserting a foreign body into the ear
  • Excessive ear secretion

Why does earwax accumulate?

Earwax is thrown into the auricle when the ear structure dries. However, in some cases, earwax may accumulate in the outer ear canal and cause complaints such as hearing loss. The most common causes of earwax buildup are unconscious cleaning of the ear. Earwax occurs away from the eardrum and near the outside of the ear canal. Therefore, cleaning the inside of the ear with the ear stick, the earwax formed in the outer part is pushed towards the eardrum and accumulates in this area. In addition, being in dusty and dirty environments for a long time and the narrow outer ear canal is narrow, and ear wax accumulates and cannot be expelled. Ear secretion is always present in the ear canal. However, in some people, earwax swells a little and leads to accumulation as a result of actions such as going into the sea, pool or shower.

What are the symptoms of earwax?

The plug, known as ear wax, is one of the body’s natural defense mechanisms. In fact, a type of non-dirt plug does not cause any complaints in some people, while in others it can accumulate in the ear canal and cause complaints. Complaints of patients due to earwax are mostly ear congestion, hearing loss, humming, ringing, dizziness, dry cough, feeling of fullness in the ear, pain, odor, discharge and itching. These complaints can be in both ears or on one side. Hearing loss can be severe enough to cause the person to isolate themselves from the social environment. In the presence of such complaints, the person should be examined by an ENT specialist and earwax removed if necessary.

How should earwax be cleaned?

The secretion in the ear is dry and thrown into the auricle after coming into contact with dust and dirt. Earwax, called earwax, occurs in an area away from the eardrum and close to the opening. Therefore, removing earwax should not be done with a cotton swab known as a cotton swab or other foreign body inserted into the cotton swab. With such procedures, ear cleaning, ear wax is pushed inwards. The overly sensitive ear canal and eardrum can be damaged when trying to clean the ear with foreign objects, which may cause the eardrum to rupture. Earwax removal can be done by wiping the outer ear with a clean cloth. However, if earwax cannot be removed from the ear due to swelling or structural stenosis, an ENT specialist should be applied by an ENT specialist. People with this type of problem can clean their ears every 6 or 12 months. Contrary to popular belief, ear cleaning does not cause any habit.

How does the doctor clean the earwax?

It is extremely inconvenient to clean the ear by inserting foreign objects into the ear. If the person has a complaint about earwax, they should consult an ENT specialist for ear cleaning. After an ear exam, the doctor can remove discomfort earwax in different ways:
Curette: The doctor first leaves a special solution in the affected ear to soften the earwax. He then removes it with earwax plugs.
Aspiration: As with the curette procedure, the doctor leaves the special solution in the ear to soften the wax. It then initiates the aspiration process known as the vacuuming process. This is done with a device called an aspirator. The hardened earwax that cannot be removed from the ear is pulled from the ear with this device.
Lavage: Before lavage, also known as ear washing, the doctor leaves a special solution in the ear to facilitate the removal of earwax from the ear. Then, the ear to be cleaned is tilted sideways, facing the floor. A special solution is sprayed into the ear until the wax is completely emptied or, in other words, the solution becomes clear.
After all ear cleaning methods, the person can return to his daily life immediately. In addition, none of the medically performed ear cleaning procedures do not accumulate or cause the ear to become dirty more quickly as is commonly known. It is also not true that the more the ear is cleaned, the more wax it produces. The main purpose of the secretion secreted from the outer ear close to the auricle is to keep the ear moist and prevent dust and dirt from entering the eardrum. The reason earwax is more common in some people is not because the ear has been cleaned frequently, but because it is more exposed to polluted air than others, or the structure of the ear canal is narrow.
If you have complaints about earwax, you can go to the nearest health facility and perform an ear examination and clean your ear.

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