The main reason for having excessive ear wax is that the body does not produce enough of its own natural lubricant to keep the auditory canal clean. As a result, it becomes clogged with dead skin cells, hair follicles, dirt, oil and other foreign objects in the environment. The natural accumulation of these things form a thick layer of earwax that blocks the external auditory canal from air circulation.
Ear wax is a natural protection for the ear canal. It helps prevent infections, water and debris from getting into the ear, and it traps dust, pollen and other small particles that might otherwise irritate the skin of the ear canal. Excessive earwax is a common problem. It can cause pain, itchiness and hearing loss, and it may need to be removed by a doctor.
Excessive earwax is often caused by the buildup of dead skin cells in the outer part of your ear canal. When there is too much ear wax in your ears, it can cause problems. Excess wax can build up in your ears and block sound waves from entering or exiting your ear canal. This makes it difficult to hear clearly and may cause pain when you chew or swallow. Here’s why it is a problem, This can lead to:
- Excessively dry or wet ear wax may also lead to inflammation of the skin inside the ear canal, which can cause itching, soreness or pain in the ear.
- A build up of old ear wax that hasn’t been removed properly – this can make new wax stick together and form large clumps in the ear canal, which can stick to other objects like cotton buds or q-tips.
- Dizziness or vertigo (a sensation of spinning)
- Repeated infections from bacteria in the ear canal; this causes the lining of the canal to swell and produce more wax as a protective barrier against infection. Over time, this can lead to blockages of the ear canal.
Adults usually produce less cerumen than children do. Babies’ ears produce more cerumen than adults’ because their eustachian tubes are smaller and narrower than those of adults; this means that less air enters their middle ears when they swallow. As infants grow older, their eustachian tubes widen, which reduces their production of cerumen.
Common waxy build-up (cerumen) which can occur in people with normal hearing. This type of wax is soft and appears yellow or brownish in colour. It is made up of dead skin cells, oil secretions and bacteria that live in your ear canal. Wax also helps to protect your ears by trapping dust and dirt particles before they can reach your eardrum.