Health

4 reasons why removing ear wax can be harmful to you

You have probably heard a hundred times how you can effectively remove ear wax by using a candle. Just like many of you, when I came to know about ‘ear candling’ I immediately felt repelled by this whole thing. That was the first time when I gave more than a passing thought to earwax accumulation and for me, the details were quite surprising.

What is ear wax? 

Ear wax or ‘cerumen’ is basically a yellow substance inside our ear canal. Ear wax production is the nastier trait of the human body. Contrary to its name, ear wax is not actually a wax, despite its waxy texture, ear wax is made up of oily secretions of the ear, skin cells, sweat, dirt etc. Ear wax can be of two different types found differently among geographically isolated people.

Not only the texture but colour of your ear wax can tell a lot about you. I remember once my brother went to the ENT specialist in Karachi, complaining about brownish ear wax and was later diagnosed with a bleeding injury. Just like your other body secretion, your earwax is an important health indicator of your body.

Why is earwax removal not a good practice? 

Apart from all our other body secretions, ear wax is the secretion that induces the constant need to clean our ears again and again. No matter if you use cotton swabs or a backer of ear candling, you should know why removing ear wax can be bad for you. The following article enlists some of the many convincing reasons for not removing your ear wax.

1- You don’t need to clean a cleaner

Ear wax may feel like a nuisance, but it’s not. Yes! You hear it right, the waxy substance in your ear is basically a natural cleaning agent. Ear wax, made from ear glands acts as a natural cleaning solution for your year. The sticky substance hinders the entry of dirt and debris inside your ear and pushes it outside during chewing, yawning and taking action.

Cleaning the ear wax using a swab or any other object can let you reverse the cleaning process of ear wax and tend to push it further into the ear canal that can result in bigger problems.

2- Ear wax is your first line of defence

Apart from cleaning, ear wax plays another major role inside your ear- that’s protection. The ear wax composition is specific for your own ears. The waxy substance help to improve the following functions inside your body;

  • Ear wax has antimicrobial properties and it can limit the growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi inside your ear.
  • Our ears appear as a hollow tube and many insects can try to enter the ear canal. However, ear wax acts as an insect repellent and prevents insect entrance.
  • Apart from these, ear wax acts as a lubricant that helps to keep our ear canal moisturized.

3- Ear wax can affect our hearing

Unlike your expectations, air wax removal can end up as a bigger problem. When you try to push ear wax using a foreign object, you end pushing it deeper. Multiple pushing attempts can make the soiled ear wax impacted down the ear canal and can result in hearing problems.

The amount of ear wax produced varies from person to person. I can relate to a similar incidence when my uncle was detected with some ear wax problems at Liaquat National Hospital in Karachi due to inappropriately wearing hearing aids for longer periods of time.

4- Ear wax cleaning accidents are common

Despite the fact that ear wax cleaning isn’t recommended, we still witness multiple cleaning accidents on a routine basis. These cases include the careless attempts to remove ear wax at both parents and children’s end. Besides this, the conventional practice of ear candling is resulting in burning injuries as well as wax impaction. Apart from these, puncturing eardrum is another consequence associated with poor wax cleaning practices.

Conclusion

Ear wax is beneficial for your ears and has numerous benefits. It acts as a natural lubricant and has antimicrobial properties. There is no proven reason to clean your ears again and again, however, if you feel an urge to clean your ears, again and again, make sure you’re doing it properly. Otherwise, you can go to the right physician and can follow the healthy ear wax cleaning approaches.

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