Features Archieve >> Medical
section GaramChai features Medical articles.
is ear wax?
is a mixture of secretions from the ceruminous, sebaceous
and sweat glands in the outer-third of the ear canal along
with skin debris. Cerumen glands are found only in the skin
of the ear canals. Earwax is healthy in normal amounts and
serves to coat the skin of the ear canal where it acts as
a temporary water repellent. The absence of earwax may result
in dry, itchy ears. There is a natural migratory process that
prevents accumulation of wax and skin debris in the ear canal.
good is it?
sticky stuff that traps anything foreign that flies, crawls,
or is blown into the ear canals. Dirt, tiny bits of plant
material, small insects, bacteria, and so forth are immobilized
by wax. The primary purpose of ear wax is to protect your
ear canal and ear drum from such foreign materials.
problems can ear wax cause?
that present with wax problems are regular users of cotton-buds.
Ear-buds, safety-pins and hair-pins, when used carelessly can
push wax into the deeper parts of the ear-canal where wax is
not formed. In such a situation, there would be further impaction
of the wax. Hearing loss occurs when wax completely blocks the
ear canal. Even a small amount of wax, if wedged between the
ear drum and the ear canal wall, reduces the ability of the
ear drum to conduct sound. Also, the skin of the ear canal and
the eardrum is very thin and fragile and is easily injured.
But why would you want to do this? Wax migrates out of the canal
all by itself and does not need your help. Ear wax can cause
pain, infection, deafness and cough.
should I clean my ears?
cases of earwax blockage respond to home treatments used to
soften wax if there is no hole in the eardrum. You can try
placing a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil or commercial ear
wax removal drops. People who have a history of middle
ear infections or a hole in the ear drum should NOT try these
remedies, nor should they allow a physician to irrigate their
ears. Do not self-medicate with persistent symptoms; the problem
may be unrelated to wax and may be more serious.
Are the Symptoms of Wax Buildup?
hearing loss, may be progressive
noises in the ear
in the ear or a sensation the ear is plugged
you notice these problems you should consult your ENT specialist.
Do not attempt to remove wax from your child’s ear. You may
make matters worse.
‘Nothing smaller than your elbow should enter your ears!’
information is no substitute for a history and physical examination
administered by a competent physician. If you inappropriately
use this information to treat yourself, you may be endangering
Krishnamoorthy, Senior Consultant in ENT, Apollo Hospitals,
Bangalore] You may contact Dr.Krishnamoorthy at his mail Email:
the next article on the Series "Cochlear Implant"