The secretion called cerumen secreted from the external ear canal is known as earwax among the people. Cerumen is a natural defense of the body that keeps the ear canal slightly moist and slippery, and protects the eardrum against bacteria, dust and similar particles from the outside. Clearing this epidemic leaves the eardrum vulnerable to infections. Cerumen solidifies over time by catching particles that enter the inner part of the ear. When the solidified or stuck cerumen, called the plug, is completed, it is expelled by the ear. Being in dusty environments for a long time is one of the factors that cause an increase in the amount of plugs.
Why does earwax form?
A bun, called earwax, is a body secretion that has completed its function, which is normally regularly thrown into the auricle by the ear. That is why it is wrong to call it earwax. The reasons for the accumulation of ear secretion, known as earwax, in the ear are listed below:
* Working in dusty and dirty environments or staying for a long time
* Swelling of the bun after going to the sea or taking a bath
• The inability of the bun to be thrown out of the ear due to the structural stenosis that exists in the external auditory canal
* Use of devices such as hearing aids, headphones and plugs
* Constantly trying to clean the ear with foreign objects
What are the symptoms of earwax?
The accumulation of the bun inside the ear or the inability to throw it out of the ear for different reasons can lead to the following symptoms:
* Feeling of fullness in the ear
* Ear congestion or partial hearing loss
* Ringing or buzzing in the ear
* Smell coming from the ear
* Itching of the ear
* Dark colored discharge coming from the ear
* Dry cough
In the presence of such symptoms, ear cleaning with foreign objects such as ear cleaning tools should not be performed and an otolaryngologist should be consulted as soon as possible.
How should ear cleaning be done?
Ear secretion does not occur in the inner part of the ear. Therefore, it is absolutely not correct to clean the bun at home with tools such as ear sticks, ear candles. Cleaning operations performed with this type of cleaning equipment lead to the fact that the bun located on the outside of the ear is pushed towards the eardrum. Contrary to what is known, the ear stick should not be used to clean the inner part of the ear; it should be used to clean the folds located in the auricle. Inserting ear stick-like cleaning utensils into the ear hole leads to the push of the bun into the eardrum. It increases the risk of infection and makes it difficult for the ear to throw the bun out of the ear in a natural process. In addition, it also causes the ear secretion called cerumen to be removed from the ear, leaving the eardrum vulnerable to foreign particles that will come from the outside, such as dust. The ear cleaning process performed at home should not go beyond cleaning the folds located in the auricle. An ear swab, cotton or soft cloth can be used to clean the auricle. However, none of these cleaning materials should be inserted into the ear hole. In case of having one of the symptoms of earwax mentioned above, an otolaryngologist should be consulted for examination and, if necessary, the relevant ear should be cleaned. The ENT specialist ensures that the ear is cleaned by choosing the most appropriate cleaning method after the examination. The doctor may drip a solution into the ear to soften the bun before cleaning the earwax. Ear washing, known as ear lavage, removing the bun from the ear with a curette, and aspiration procedures, known as vacuuming, allow the ear to be cleaned without damaging the ear.