Two Ear Wax Removal Remedies To Avoid
All ear wax removal hacks are notcreated equal. Dr. Nguyen-Huynh recommends steering clear of:
Why Do Ears Have Hair
Before you were born, your body had soft hair all over, including your ears. This is called lanugo. It can sometimes take a few weeks for it to go away, especially for babies who are born early.
Some people get more hair in and on their ears as they age — especially men. Doctors think it may be because of increased testosterone. This hormone makes hair coarser and thicker as it grays.
The hair just inside your ear works with earwax to keep dirt and debris away from your eardrum.
Farther inside your ear, tiny hairs help you hear and keep your balance. They live in canals full of fluid. When you move, the liquid moves with you. This bends the hairs and tells your body where it is in space.
White Crust In Ear Canal
Ear canal infection is an inflammation or infection of the outer ear canal, and the passage leading from the external ear to the eardrum. The condition may develop when water, dirt or other debris gets into the ear canal. Since it is often associated with excess water in the ear canal, and frequently occurs in children and young adults who swim a great deal, the common name for this inflammation is swimmers ear.Causes of otitis externa
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Earwax Buildup And Blockage
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What is earwax buildup?
Your ear canal produces a waxy oil called cerumen, which is more commonly known as earwax. This wax protects the ear from dust, foreign particles, and microorganisms. It also protects ear canal skin from irritation due to water. In normal circumstances, excess wax finds its way out of the canal and into the ear opening naturally, and then is washed away.
When your glands make more earwax than necessary, it may get hard and block the ear. When you clean your ears, you can accidentally push the wax deeper, causing a blockage. Wax buildup is a common reason for temporary hearing loss.
You should take great caution when trying to treat earwax buildup at home. If the problem persists, visit your doctor. Treatment is generally quick and painless, and hearing can be fully restored.
Who Experiences Earwax Buildup
Earwax buildup can happen to anyone. Its estimated to be present in about 10% of children and 5% of adults who are healthy.
However, it is more likely to occur in:
- People who use hearing aids, ear plugs or ear buds.
- People with a lot of ear hair or who have certain skin conditions.
- People who put cotton swabs or other items into their ears.
- Older people.
- People with developmental disabilities.
- People with ear canals shaped in such a way as to interfere with natural wax removal.
Children produce earwax. Unless they produce too much, you should be careful about cleaning their ears. Only use a washcloth to clean the outside. Dont worry about it unless there are signs that your child is being bothered by earwax buildup. These signs may include pulling or tugging at the ears, putting things into the ears or problems with hearing. If this happens, contact your healthcare provider.
Older adults may have difficulty with earwax buildup if they wear hearing aids. They might also just ignore their ears. Earwax buildup can cause significant hearing loss and should be addressed.
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Whats The Normal Color Of Dog Ear Wax
Normal dog ear wax ranges from pale yellow to light brown. Keep in mind, the wax may look darker if theres dirt in the ear. The consistency of the wax should be semi-soft.
Sometimes dirt in the ear can look like excessive wax and fake you out. Conversely, a yeast infection can fake you out by creating dark brown debris that looks like dirt. You may need your veterinarian to identify exactly what it is. Dogs and cats are known to develop bacterial ear infections, fungal ear infections, and ear mite infestations.
Are There Any Dangers With Too Much Ear Hair
For the most part, having some ear hair is perfectly normal and isnt cause for worry.
That said, occasionally too much ear hair can crowd and clog the ear canal. It could make you more susceptible to mild conditions like swimmers ear by narrowing the ear canal so water gets trapped inside.
Similarly, removing extra ear hair can be a treatment for tinnitus .
On the more serious side, there is some medical controversy over whether or not ear canal hair that occurs along with a crease in the ear lobe can predict a higher occurrence of coronary artery disease . A recent 1989 study that showed a correlation between Indian men with ear hair with developing heart disease.
However, the study only included South Asian participants. The analysis also points to the fact that some follow-up studies have failed to show a significant correlation. So as of now, we dont know for sure if ear hair might mean youre more likely to develop CAD.
There seems to be more evidence suggesting that a natural crease in ones ear lobe is a clearer predictor of CAD. And ear lobe creases and excess ear hair often occur together, which may be why we have this debatable association of ear hair and CAD.
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When To Seek Medical Care For Earwax
See your doctor if you think you may have any symptoms of an earwax impaction. Other conditions may cause these symptoms and it is important to be sure earwax is the culprit before trying any home remedies.
Go to the hospital if:
You have a severe spinning sensation, loss of balance, or inability to walk
You have sudden loss of hearing
Watch For Signs Of Ear Infection
Dogs and cats are known to develop bacterial ear infections, fungal ear infections, and ear mite infestations. If you notice what appears to be excessive wax in the ears, use a cotton ball to wipe the wax out of the ear and then take a look in the ear.
If there is any odor to the ear, or if the ear is red, swollen, painful, warm to the touch, or looks different than the other ear, there is a high likelihood that your pet has an external ear infection.
Other signs to watch for are:
Sensitivity and reluctance to having the ears touched, which can signal pain
Excessive scratching or digging at the ears
Rubbing the ears against the ground or furniture
Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible for testing and treatment, as these infections are uncomfortable at best, and at worst, horribly painful and permanently injurious if allowed to progress.
Image via Suda Productions/Shutterstock.com
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What Causes Extra External Ear Hair
Doctors dont know exactly why some people have so much. For many years, researchers thought it was a trait men passed down genetically, through their Y chromosome. More recent studies say that isnt true.
Its rare to have very long hair on your outer ear. Its most common in men who live in India and Sri Lanka. Its rare, but babies born to women with diabetes can have hairy ears. Studies show that the better you control your disease while youre pregnant, the less likely your baby is to have it.
Theres also a condition known as hypertrichosis, where hair grows all over your body. Some cases are genetic, but most arent. Other causes include:
Disorders of your metabolic or endocrine system
Abnormal growths in your ovaries or adrenal glands
Infectious or inflammatory skin conditions
Extra hair inside your ear canal can put you at a higher risk for otitis externa, also known as swimmers ear. This is an infection in your outer ear. You get it when water and bacteria get trapped and the bacteria multiply. More hair in your ear gives the gunk more places to get stuck.
How To Remove Crusty Ears Wax
Step 1Soak a cotton ball with an over-the-counter ear drop solution. Or use baby oil, hydrogen peroxide, saline solution or mineral oil. Use water-based products to break up earwax and oil-based ones to soften the wax so it slides out easily.Step 2You have to do this while you tilt your head to one side so the opening of your ear faces up, then hold the cotton ball over your ear canal. Do not push the cotton ball into the canal. Hold your head in this position for about a minute. This allows the liquid to drip into your ear canal and loosen or break apart the wax.Step 3Tilt your head to the other side to allow the wax to drain out. Use a cloth or tissue to collect the liquid and wax as it comes out.Step 4If your ears still feel clogged, fill a bulb syringe with water and squirt some water into the ear canal to help remove any remaining wax.Step 5Repeat this process for the other ear, if necessary.You have to be always careful while dealing with your ears to avoid causing problems to your eardrum. Also care must be taken as some of the crusty wax may go deep into the ear instead of coming out. A good way of doing it is buying a quality earwax removal tool/kit to help with the process.
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Other Signs And Symptoms
Dryness of the ear canal is a symptom and may be accompanied various other signs and symptoms depending on the underlying cause. Similarly, excessive dryness can lead to other symptoms as it predisposes the ear canal to a host of diseases.
- Itchy ear, specifically of the ear canal.
- Pain in the ear.
- Distorted hearing or even partial or complete loss of hearing .
- Flaking skin from the ear canal.
- Offense odor from the ear, with or without a discharge.
Two Ear Wax Removal Methods To Try
If ear wax is becoming a nuisance, Dr. Nguyen-Huynh recommends twoeasy ear cleaning methods:
1. Over-the-counter ear cleaning drops
If you have a small amount of wax, over-the-counter earcleaners work well. Look for drops that contain hydrogen or other kinds of peroxide.The peroxide does a good job of breaking up ear wax.
Heres how to use them:
If that method doesnt work, theears might need flushing with a bulb syringe. But there are a few caveats:
- Be gentle:Flush your ear gently to avoid harming your eardrum.
- Watch the temperature:The water should not be too cold or too warm. If it is, the temperaturedifference could make you dizzy.
- Avoid if necessary:Dont use the flushing method if you have a hole in your eardrum or if youve everhad eardrum surgery. Flushing may damage your eardrum repair.
If you are not comfortableflushing your own ears, said Dr. Nguyen-Huynh, you might want to check withyour primary care providers office to see if there is a nurse who would do itfor you.
Ear cleaning drops may not work if you have too much ear wax or a condition called impacted cerumen .
2. Mineral or olive oil
The Genesis And Treatment Of A Common Ear Condition
Some earwax is good for your ears, so often the best policy is to leave it alone. And a few drops of water may be all you need to get rid of a blockage.
Earwax, a bodily emanation that many of us would rather do without, is actually pretty useful stuff in small amounts. It’s a natural cleanser as it moves from inside the ear canal outward, gathering dead skin cells, hair, and dirt along the way. Tests have shown that it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. If your ears don’t have enough earwax, they’re likely to feel itchy and uncomfortable.
What Kind Of Dog Has Excessive Ear Wax
Breeds Prone to Excess Earwax. Some Cocker Spaniels have a genetic condition that causes the glands in their ears to create excessive earwax. Dogs with very long ear canals, Bassets for example, can experience excessive wax build up. English Bulldogs can have excessive earwax trapped in the folds of their ears.
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When To See A Doctor About A Clogged Ear
While ear wax is generally more annoying than dangerous,sometimes you need a doctor to clear it. If home remedies dont work, your earhurts or you have trouble hearing, Dr. Nguyen-Huynh says its smart to seek medical evaluation.
Someone needs to look in andsee if the ear canal is open or if the wax is plugging it up, he says.
If the situation is minor, you may be able to get yourears unblocked right then and there. If not, ENT doctors can useoperating microscopes to magnify inside the ear canal, loosen the wax and vacuumit out.
And a clogged ear may have othercauses. It could be a middle ear infection with fluid filling up the spacebehind the eardrum, Dr. Nguyen-Huynh cautions. Or you could have a viralinfection that affects the inner ear. In those cases, a doctor can diagnose andtreat you to prevent permanent hearing loss.
Crusty Ears Causes: White Crust In Ear Canal Folds Lobe Piercing Discharge Wax Behind Get Rid
When one has crusty ears, this may result to discomforts and embarrassment. Having dry, crusty, flaky ears could mean a number of things. It may be something as simple like excess buildup of earwax or disease infection such as seborrheic dermatitis. When you have crusty ears and suspect that it may be as a result of some disease, see a doctor. In other cases, it may be something you use that is causing some allergic reaction such as cleanser, lotion, toner, or shampoo. At other times, it may occur due to changes in weather and dryness of the skin around the ears.
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What Is Earwax Buildup
Earwax is produced by glands in the ear canal. Although scientists are still not completely sure why we have earwax, it does trap dust and other small particles and prevent them from reaching and possibly damaging or infecting the eardrum. Normally, the wax dries up and falls out of the ear, along with any trapped dust or debris. Everyone makes ear wax, but the amount and type are genetically determined just like hair color or height. Smaller or oddly shaped ear canals may make it difficult for the wax our ears make naturally to get out of the canal. This can lead to wax impactions. This is earwax buildup.
Home Remedies To Cure Dry Skin Inside Ear
The following remedies will help to cure dry crusty ears.Garlic and Olive OilBy know the whole world knows garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic. In this remedy, we are relying on its antibacterial properties to combat dry skin in ears. Crush some garlic cloves and mix in a tablespoon of olive oil. Heat this mixture gently till you see it begin to bubble then leave to cool.Use this remedy as natural ear drops for itchy ears by applying with a dropper inside the ear.Olive OilIn cases where the ear is not producing enough wax, you can use olive oil to act as the natural lubricant and ease the dryness. Apply two drops of pure olive oil using a dropper every time you feel the dryness.
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Ear Wax Was Designed To Help
Sure, cerumen may look worse than liver and onions, but your ceruminous and sebaceous glands make this special recipe for the health of your ears. Besides shoving dirt, dust and crud out of your ears, ear wax protects your ears against bacteria, fungal infections and viruses. Amazingly, it even repels insects! It also protects and lubricates the inside of the ear canal to keep it healthy.
In fact, these glands whip up a special recipe of cholesterol, fatty acids, enzymes, alcohols, sebum, sloughed off skin cells, and other chemicals especially for your earsthe end result is ear-protecting ear wax. In fact, average cerumen is slightly acidicwhich inhibits fungal and bacterial growth.
How To Remove Earwax
Earwax also known by the medical term cerumen is your bodys natural defence mechanism to keep the ear canal lubricated, clean and healthy. While it may not look attractive, it plays a vital role in keeping harmful bacteria out to avoid infection.
For this reason, its advised to leave earwax alone. That means you should never insert fingers or cotton buds into the ear canal to remove it as this can push the earwax further back. Lucky for us, the ear is self-cleaning, so we can let it do the job its designed to do.
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