For decades, people have been removing ear wax from their ears using Q-tips, fingernails and just about any other tangible object that can fit inside of the ear.
We grew up believing it was a part of good hygiene, but experts reveal that this isn’t true. Ear wax is actually a cleaning agent, working to keep dirt, dust and other tiny particles out of your ears. You’ll learn things like this and other family care tips when you visit a natural health care provider.
What You Should Know About Ear Wax
In a nutshell, your ears are able to keep themselves clean using ear wax; which has protective, antibacterial and lubricating properties. Have you ever noticed when you excessively clean out your ears with cotton that it makes your ears feel rather dry? In some cases, people will witness itchiness, flaking and some pain. This is because all of the natural lubrication is removed when you take out the wax.
Another problem with using cotton swabs and other aides to clean your ears, is that it can cause the wax to build up and block areas of your ear canal, which can lead to an assortment of issues. It’s surprising to some that attempting to remove wax can lead to a buildup, but it’s true.
Guidelines were even established by the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation to help individuals prevent issues associated with ear wax buildup. What’s shocking is that this buildup sends 12 million Americans to the doctor’s office annually. You may know someone who has been to a traditional or alternative medicine practitioner for such problems.
Symptoms of Ear Wax Buildup
There are various symptoms to watch for if you’re worried about ear wax becoming impacted deep within your ear canal, such as the following:
- Pressure and pain
- Foul odor
- Ear discharge
- Hearing loss
- Ringing in the ears
How to Prevent Ear Wax Buildup
The outer one-third part of your ear canal is where ear wax comes from. It’s never inside of the deeper parts of your ear where the eardrum sits. When you use Q-tips and other items, it can push the wax deeper than where it’s supposed to be.
Naturally, ear wax pushes out of your ear all on its own, so all you need to do is wipe out your ear using a wet rag when this happens. You should also avoid wearing earplugs and headphones for long periods of time.
Make sure to consult with a natural health care provider if you or a family member needs special care for your ear issues.