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The Problems with Too Much Earwax
Have you noticed a change to your hearing or found that your ears feel a little different? If so, it’s possible that the issue isn’t what you might expect. You may find that you are having trouble with earwax clogging up your ears. Let’s explore some of the issues that you can have with earwax and the right solutions that you should explore.
What is Earwax?
Earwax is a substance produced in your ear and designed to protect the surface of the canal. It is also responsible for cleaning the inner ear and providing lubrication. Since your ears are self-cleaning, earwax is pushed from the canal to the outer bowl of your ear. It typically falls out without any help, while you are sleeping or resting. However, there are cases where you can have too much earwax. This could happen if you have narrow ear canals or you have too much hair in your ears. It can also be a problem if your ears are inflamed.
An overproduction of earwax that is not regularly pushed out of the canal can become hard and block sound. This can also occur if you have tried to clean your ears the wrong way. Now let’s look at some of the problems high levels of earwax can cause.
A buildup of earwax can cause significant changes to your hearing. You might even experience a certain level of temporary hearing loss. This occurs when earwax forms a block in the canal that prevents sound from getting through. If you have noticed a change to your hearing, you should reach out to an audiologist. They will provide the solution that you need and ensure that the cause of your hearing loss can be pinpointed. This can be a buildup of earwax or it might be something else entirely. You will always need the support of an expert to find out what is going on.
Earwax can also cause you to experience something like tinnitus. Tinnitus will cause you to hear sounds that aren’t actually there. The sound in question can be anything from a buzzing to a whistling in your ear and everything in between. It can even be a piece of music. Tinnitus is caused when hairs in your ear continue to vibrate. It is usually due to your ears being exposed to noises at high volumes. Once your earwax is removed, you should find that your tinnitus immediately disappears.
It’s also possible that you notice that your ears feel irritated. You could also experience ear ache due to a buildup of earwax. This will usually be the case if the wax has hardened inside your ear. If this is the case, then it won’t fall out naturally. You will need extra support to remove the waxy build up. Irritation like this can also be caused by your ears being inflamed or even an ear infection.
You may find that you experience issues with vertigo due to a buildup of earwax in your ear. The reason for this is that the functioning of your ears is connected to your body’s balance system. As such, you should make sure that you are getting your ears checked if you notice changes to your balance or if you do feel dizzy and unsure of your footing.
If you do think that you have higher than normal levels of earwax or you have noticed a lot of earwax around your ears, then you should speak to an audiologist. They will be able to examine your ear canals and evaluate the production of wax. They can safely remove it in their office – and if it was the cause oof your temporary hearing loss – you should feel relief instantly.
Earwax and hearing aids
Earwax can also cause trouble with hearing aids when it is pushed to the surface. If you are wearing hearing aids then the wax has nowhere to go. This can cause it to block different parts of the hearing aid. That’s why you need to make sure that you are cleaning them regularly with a dry, soft cloth. If you notice any issues with your hearing aids, be sure to consult your audiologist.
We hope this helps you understand some of the issues that you can have when there is too much earwax and the right steps that you can take. If you think you need a professional ear cleaning, call our office at Petaluma (707-283-7853) or San Rafael (415-524-7235) to schedule an appointment.