What is earwax?
Earwax is called cerumen in medicine. Usually, earwax is a kind of light yellow, wax-like debris, and some earwax is oily or relatively hard and large.
What causes ear wax? what is earwax made of？
It turns out that there is a section of skin (l/3 cartilage section outside the external auditory canal) of the ear and eye, which is different from the skin of other parts of the body.
There is a variant of sweat glands called cerumen glands, whose structure is somewhat similar to that of skin. The skin of the external auditory canal, like other skins, also has a sebaceous gland that secretes a type of oil.
These secretions in the cerumen glands are discharged from time to time through the opening. At first, the secretions just vomited from the cerumen glands looked a bit like melted wax. They mixed with the oil discharged by the sebaceous glands to form a thin layer attached to the skin’s surface.
This primitive earwax is twisted together with the dust in the ear canal and the peeled skin debris. After drying, they become small pieces of light yellow loose flakes piled up in the ear canal.
What are the benefits of earwax for our body?
When most people hear earwax, they always feel that it is a metabolite secreted by the human body, which has no effect on the human body and needs to be cleaned in time.
But in fact, the existence of earwax has a specific protective effect on the ears.
- Protect the eardrum. The earwax can prevent sand and water droplets from directly irritating or damaging the eardrum, equivalent to an extra layer of protection. It will also resist the humid environment and form a protective layer of oil on our ear canal skin.
- Antibacterial and antiviral. Specific components in earwax, such as lysobacterium, immunoglobulin, etc. It can inhibit and eliminate bacteria or viruses to a certain extent.
- Reduce noise. Our eardrums are very thin and fragile and are quickly shattered by strong sound waves. At this time, earwax can act as a buffer for sound waves.
- Self-cleaning effect. Without human intervention, earwax itself has a self-cleaning effect. Most earwax can be discharged from the ears by itself, just like when we are talking, eating, chewing, and swallowing, we all drive the lower jaw to move, which can help the earwax be transported out of the ears.
Although there are many earwax benefits, if it is secreted too much and not treated in time, it is easy to block the external auditory canal and affect hearing. Moreover, earwax is easy to swell with water, compressing the ear canal and reducing hearing.
What causes too much earwax?
- Cerumen embolism. Cerumen embolism in the ear will cause the earwax to increase in quantity and gradually become clumpy and hard. If not treated in time, it will block the ears and cause inflammation, which will affect hearing.
- Chronic hyperemia of the skin of the external auditory meatus. The increase of blood content in the external auditory canal easily stimulates the secretion of earwax in the external auditory canal, resulting in increased earwax affecting hearing and even tinnitus.
- Otitis media. If the ear is inflamed, it will cause more earwax, and it will be easy to drain. At this time, go to the hospital for treatment in time to avoid affecting your hearing.
- Throat problems. Because the throat and ear nerves are connected, if the disease appears in the throat, it is easy to cause ear infections and cause more earwax if the illness occurs.
Do I need to clean earwax frequently?
Earwax does not require us to clean frequently. Under normal circumstances, about one-third of the earwax will be discharged from the ear. The remaining small part of the earwax will not accumulate in a large amount, blocking our ear canal and affecting our hearing.
Of course, a small number of people will also appear when earwax becomes a lump, forming a cerumen embolism, and you need to take it out in time. However, it is not recommended that we go to the ears.
For the sake of our ear health, we should go to the hospital to find a professional doctor to clean up the earwax. We don’t recommend using ear sticks, ear picks, and other tools to clean the earwax.
How to clean earwax?
A healthy ear canal itself has a self-cleaning function. There is no need to clean it frequently. The scientific name of earwax is “cerumen”, a pale yellow viscous liquid secreted by the cerumen glands on the cartilage of the external auditory canal.
Cerumen can block the dirt that enters the external auditory canal from the outside, stick dust and small insects to protect the eardrum; simultaneously, it covers the surface of the ear canal skin to keep the skin moisture.
Cleaning your ears can easily cause damage to the ear canal. If the method is improper, it will push the earwax deep, block the ear canal, and affect hearing; if excessive force is used when digging, it will damage the skin of the external auditory canal.
Even the eardrum and bacteria will invade the opportunity to form otitis externa; if the tympanic membrane is removed, the tympanic membrane perforates and bleeding, Will feel very painful.
In most cases, earwax will slowly move from the inside of the ear canal to the ear canal’s opening, dry in the air, and form a yellow flake.
Through the mandibular joint movement during chewing, it will continue to fall out of the ear, and there is no problem of blocking the ear canal at all. It will affect hearing due to excessive earwax.
What should you do if you really want to clean your ear wax?
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