Myths about Ear Wax - Debunked
People generally remain quite confused and ambiguous about ear cleaning and maintaining ear hygiene; especially ear wax removal. Many of us have strong beliefs about the best methods; while some make sense, others are simply not supported by science.
As the name implies, earwax brings several myths and misconceptions to the forefront. Some consider it filthy and rush to have it removed, employing harmful and unscientific methods. Here in this article will debunk some of the popular earwax myths. Keep reading!
Myth: Earwax is unusual
Debunked: Earwax may appear bad or dirty due to its texture. It is, however, completely normal. Earwax is basically a mixture of dead skin cells and secretions from the external ear’s sebaceous and ceruminous glands.
Your ethnicity, age, environment, and even diet affect the amount and type of earwax you have. Earwax is a natural moisturiser that keeps the ear canal from drying. It also keeps unwanted things out of your ear, such as small insects or dirt.
Myth: Hearing Loss Caused by Earwax
Debunked: No! Earwax does not cause permanent hearing loss. However, due to excess earwax, your hearing may be compromised, and sounds may appear muffled. If this occurs, a specialist can safely examine your ears and remove the earwax, restoring your hearing.
MYTH: Earwax is caused by poor hygiene
DEBUNKED: This is yet another popular myth. Nevertheless, remember that ear wax has nothing to do with hygiene.
A variety of genetic and behavioral factors can contribute to earwax accumulation. In terms of genetics, having an ear canal that is especially narrow, bendy, or hairy may simply predispose you to have excessive earwax.
However, the constant use of earplugs, headphones, or hearing aids, which are lifestyle variables but have nothing to do with hygiene, can impede this self-cleaning process. This is entirely unrelated to cleanliness or hygiene.
MYTH: You should remove ear wax every day
DEBUNKED: While it may appear to be hygienic to clean ear wax on a daily basis, your ears can do this for you. Here’s how it’s done:
Ear wax, or cerumen, is produced in the inner ear. It is semi-liquid at first, pushing itself further into the outer ear. Cerumen’s natural outward flow collects dead cells and debris along the way. Ear wax containing debris eventually flows to the outer ear and then out. It will do this whether or not you clean it.
MYTH: Cotton Swab is an ideal way for ear cleaning
DEBUNKED: The best ear wax removal technique includes carefully using cotton swabs and a solution that softens ear wax. Most over-the-counter solutions contain hydrogen peroxide; while hydrogen peroxide is typically used to treat wounds, it has properties that help break up ear wax.
Only after you’ve softened your ear wax should you use cotton swabs to remove it.
MYTH: Ear candles can help you remove earwax
DEBUNKED: Ear candles are claimed to be a natural way to remove wax from your ear canal and relieve the pain associated with a clogged ear. The heat produced by the candle is said to create a suction effect that pulls wax out of your ear canal as it slowly burns down toward your face.
It appears to be sound on paper, but no scientific support exists for this practice. On the contrary, otolaryngologists have discovered that the method is harmful, causing ear wax to accumulate to the point of a consolidation.
Visit our ENT expert for a thorough diagnosis.
Although earwax is beneficial, too much of it can cause discomfort. See our ear wax removal doctor if you experience hearing loss, a feeling of fullness or blockage, tinnitus, itching, pain, discharge, or odor.
Dr. Peter Baptista, our ENT specialist, is a renowned expert in Dubai for performing robotic transoral surgery and the only series of hypoglossal nerve stimulation that proved revolutionary for treating obstructive sleep apnea worldwide. In addition, he has a proven track record of successful treatment of the ears, nose, and tongue.
Schedule your appointment here.
Dr Peter Baptista Jardin
European Board Certified ENT Doctor In Dubai
Dr. Peter Baptista Jardin is an ENT specialist with a special interest in treating sleep apnea. He is a revered expert in Spain for performing the first ever robotic transoral surgery in 2011, and the only series of hypoglossal nerve stimulation proved revolutionary for obstructive sleep apnea treatment worldwide. He currently serves as an ENT doctor in Dubai’s Al Zahra Hospital.