Ear wax is present in all of us and its main job is to be a protective barrier between the inner, middle ear and external sounds. Wax gets accumulated periodically in the outer ear. This happens for many reasons. Some of us have an anatomical narrowing of the ear that stops the wax from coming out naturally. Prolonged usage of hearing aids, head phones or ear phones may interfere with the excretion of wax. Some people may have more wax accumulation than others. Wax build-up can cause some serious concerns which may affect a person’s ability to hear. He or she may have difficulty in hearing that can get extremely uncomfortable in due course. It also causes vertigo (dizziness) and in extreme cases it may also result in ringing of the ears, also known as tinnitus.
Many ENT’s these days do not recommend the use of any equipment along with trying to clean or remove wax from the inside ear. One needs to clean the pinna with soap and water, however, any attempt to go deeper than this can cause mild discomfort. Using cotton buds which were once recommended by the previous generations is now considered a dangerous practice and can cause irreparable damage to the inner ear nerves along with pushing the wax deeper which may lead to infections and blockages.
Be it home, work or school you need to take care of your ears. In case you like listening to music, avoid high volume levels when using stereos and home theatre systems. Don’t forget to put on your ear plugs at nightclubs, rock concerts, motor sporting events and even when you go for a swim.
It is good practice to include examination and cleaning of your ears in your daily cleansing routine. You need to get your ears checked regularly by your general practitioner and if need be go see an ENT who can give you a clearer diagnosis about the condition of your ears. Personal hygiene is an essential component of healthy living and if you have neglected it so far it’s never too late to start now.