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Tinnitus and Ear wax

In today’s post, I want to shine a light on tinnitus and ear wax, you know the stuff that gives you great pleasure removing from your ear with a Q-tip… Note to self Q-tips shouldn’t be used to clean your ears but I will get onto that a little later

For many years I would always use a Q-tip in my ears as if I was digging for gold, you know the way pushing the Q-tip right in to get every little speckle of wax. Little did I know until I developed tinnitus that earwax is actually very important to protect the ear and serves a great purpose to keeping your ears healthy

What is ear wax?

Have you ever pulled out a great lump of earwax and thought what the hell is this? Earwax is also known as cerumen (the professional term) the colour is a yellowish waxy substance secreted in the ear canal of humans.

Types of earwax are different from person to person for instance

  • Wet, the dominant type – More common amoungst Africans/Europeans

  • Dry, the recessive type – More common among Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Asians

  • Tarry, classic wet, and firm nuggets

  • Dry flakes

Why do we need ear wax?

The main benefit of earwax plays a very important part in protecting the skin of the human ear canal, assists in cleaning and lubrication, and also provides some protection against bacteria, fungi, insects and water.

The way that the ear canal is formed it’s designed to detect sound and translate signals to the brain. Unfortunately the way that the ear canal is designed it traps dust, dirt and other unwanted guests, luckily because we have earwax in the ear canal it absorbs dead skin cells and debris, preventing them from being pulled deeper into the ear canal.

Essentially, it’s your ear’s last line of defence!

How Is Ear Wax Formed?

Earwax is formed in the outer part of the ear canal from special glands, after the wax is formed it slowly makes it way through the outer ear canal to the opening of the ear. Then it either falls out or is removed when you wash

Basically congealed sweat from the outer part of the ear…. YUK!

How To Clear Earwax

As I mentioned at the start of the article, using Q-tips to clear your ears is a big no no! If we use Q-tips to clean the inner part of the ear what we are actually doing is pushing the ear wax deeper into the ear canal resulting in further problems. The way we should be using Q- tips is to use around the outer part of the ear removing any unwanted wax

Some people suffer from very hard wax getting stuck in the ear canal as a result this cannot be cleared naturally so speaking with your GP or nurse will be able to clear using a specialized tool

Tinnitus and Earwax

Over the past number of years, I’ve had many people reach out to me and say that when they have blocked ear wax or an excessive amount this causes tinnitus to occur. Unfortunately this is very common especially for people that may experience very hard earwax

The deeper the earwax the more common tinnitus may occur, the main reason for this is if the wax touches the eardrum, causing pressure and changing how the ear drum vibrates sending different signals to the brain. As a result, people may experience tinnitus

Does removing earwax cause tinnitus?

Some sufferers become worried at the thought of seeing a GP/nurse and getting their ears syringed incase tinnitus becomes worse. There is currently no evidence that states removing earwax will make tinnitus worse after

Summarise

  • Although earwax is gross it’s very important in ensuring we protect our hearing

  • Q-tips shouldn’t be used to clean the inner part of our ear

  • There are different types of ear wax,  if you do have excessive amounts of ear wax then you need to see your GP

  • Ear wax build up is a very common reason why people experience tinnitus

  • Removing ear was will not make tinnitus worse

Hope you have enjoyed, next time you get that urge to start prodding around using a Q-tip just think earwax is key to having healthy ears

Thanks

 

Adam
Adam
My mission is to help anyone affected by Tinnitus go on and live a happy normal life. After being told I had Tinnitus 4 years ago due to excessively loud noise I had to quickly realize how to manage this condition on a daily basis. Through my journey Understanding Tinnitus was founded, here we share simple informative information that will help people with this condition on a daily basis.

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