Ear wax ,afterall what is it ?Ear wax-Part-1-Ear wax is produced by the glands present in the skin of the external auditory canal.It traps dust particles and gives oily feel to the skin of the external auditory canal.
Is it a product of some disease process?
Or is it a natural secretion of the skin of external auditory canal ?
Ear wax (also known as cerumen) is produced by the sebaceous glands present in the skin of the external auditory canal .
It is dark brown, wet, sticky. It may be yellowish or off white in some people.
What are the functions of ear wax?
Ear wax has hydrophobic surface, so it tries to repel water, tries to prevent external auditory canal to get moist.
It lubricates the external auditory canal.
It is an attempt by nature to prevent insects, bacteria and fungi to reach the tympanic membrane ,further functions of ear wax are given in this article, so pl go through this article completely.
What is the composition of ear wax?
Ear wax is made up of the shed layers of skin and it contains saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, cholesterol, keratin, alcohol and squalene.
What factors lead to more production of wax? –
Foods containing high amounts of gluten (Wheat rye, barley). It can also occur in people with gluten intolerance
Consuming high amounts of dairy products and cheese
Consuming high amounts of sweet foods and caffeine
It is light in colour at young age and it darkens as the age advances. It is excreted in the form of small pellets naturally and we do not need to clean it at all.
Is it necessary to clean our ears regularly by ourselves?
We find many people cleaning their external auditory canal by, water towel, during bath.
First of all it is not necessary at all.
On the other hand by insertion of water into the external auditory canal ,you are making it wet and there are very high chances of catching fungal infection of the ear-which is very painful.
What is purpose of ear wax?
There is lot of dust in the air.
This dust contains many bacteria.
Wax is moist .So it traps the dust and natural antibodies present in the wax destroy the bacteria.
So nature is great !
So wax is secreted by the skin of the external auditory canal for our betterment only !
Even if you get it cleaned from an ENT specialist doctor and view your tympanic membrane on computer monitor with the help of endoscopic camera system, for confirmation,that your ear is cleaned properly then also wax will continue to be produced by the skin of the external auditory canal.
It will be excreted in the form of small pellets.
Then in which situation does your qualified and experienced ENT specialist doctor will clean your ear ?
Only and only, if you ear wax is causing decreased hearing problems,
Ear blocking sensation, then and then only ear cleaning is required.
Ear cleaning is done by ENT specialist doctor with the help of microscope or endoscope and after that you may view your tympanic membrane of ear on computer monitor with the help of endoscopic camera system.
Once ear cleaning is done you may visit your ENT specialist doctor once every year
What things should not be done ?
An individual should never clean his ear with hot oil, cold oil, water, stick, pin, keys, -This will definitely damage the skin of external auditory canal and tympanic membrane.
At times tympanic membrane perforation can also result, which may require tympanoplasty surgery.
Injury to external auditory canal skin can cause a painful condition called otitis external.
In Otitis externa there is severe earache and oedema of the external auditory canal skin due to which the diameter of the external acoustic meatus is reduced or may get totally obliterated also.
What is treatment of otitis externa ?
Treatment of otitis externa given by ENT specialist doctor is high dose of analgesics, higher antibiotics and most important thing of all is that the patient should avoid touching the ear and avoid doing the same thing again -insertion of hot oil, cold oil, water, cleaning ear with stick, pin, keys.
What possible problems can occur when you do ear cleaning from your ENT specialist doctor ?
Well there are no problems as such ,but when ear cleaning is attempted by syringing or suction irrigation with ear microscope transient Giddiness can occur which is due to the stimulation of the labyrinth .Any temperature of the irrigating fluid higher or lower than the endolymph, perilymph will cause movement of the fluid and hence giddiness.
Giddiness is to be immediately looked up after by asking the patient to do hyperventilation, (taking deep breath inside ,holding it for 5 seconds and then releasing it) -this hyperventilation can be done for approximately 2-3 minutes, visual fixation (asking the patient to concentrate vision on the tip of your index finger) -this is usually done for 2-3 minutes, raising up the interior extremities so as to increase the blood supply to the heart. By doing all this Giddiness usually settles down in 2-3 minutes.Whenever ear cleaning is done whether by ear microscope or endoscope or by syringing it should be always done with the patient in supine position and after when it is over then also patient must lie in supine position for at least 5 minutes and then get up so that giddiness does not occur. After all prevention is always better than cure.
For further details pl go through our article on Ear wax -Part- 2 in health useful.com
https://healthuseful.com/ is the link for this website .
For any ENT (Ear, nose ,throat ) problems you may contact -Prabha ENT (Ear nose throat) clinic ,Dr Sagar Rajkuwar (MS-ENT), ENT specialist doctor,
Adress -Prabha ENT clinic plot no 345 ,Saigram colony ,opposite Indoline
furniture Ambad link road, Ambad ,1 km from Pathardi phata ,Nashik 422010 ,Maharashtra .
Appointment nos for clinic visit or for online consultation -7387590194,