Daily Life

Small Ear Canal Wax Problems (And Solutions)

Ear

Hearing impairment can also take place due to earwax build-up inside the ear canal. This can also get severe if not treated at the right time.

Earwax accumulation can also cause further problems like ringing sounds in the ear (tinnitus), dizziness, ear pain, coughing, and many more. So, to eliminate these problems you need to keep your ears clean. Although, experts recommend not to use cotton swabs or any such tools as they may push the earwax inside the canal and cause even worse problems.

Therefore, in this blog post, we’ll discuss the small ear canal wax problems and you can battle these issues.  

What is Earwax?

The body produces earwax (cerumen) to protect your ears. Ear wax has both lubricating and antimicrobial properties. The old earwax is transported through your ear canal by chewing, while the ear skin grows from inside out. It flakes off when this earwax reaches the ear.

Earwax is formed in the ear canal’s outer section, not deep inside. The earwax comprises dead skin cells, hair, and secretion from two glands.

When Does Earwax Built-Up in a Small Ear Canal?

Earwax becomes hard when it accumulates in the small ear canal. This earwax accumulation might make people uncomfortable, especially if they don’t clean their ears regularly. The outside dust and moisture builds-up inside the ear canal and can cause severe problems to your ears. Moreover, your hearing may also get affected.

Experts recommend cleaning the ear gently but not using bobby pins or cotton swabs as this can push the earwax in the small ear canal, which can cause severe ear damage.

The Complications for Earwax Buildup

Excessive earwax can result the earwax blockage to get worse especially, if it isn’t taken care of quickly. These symptoms could be ear pain, hearing loss, or something even worse.

A buildup of earwax could also make it hard to see inside the ear canal, which could lead to problems as it would be hard to determine a condition if the ear wax stays accumulated blocking the view.

Also, earwax can be such a nuisance if you are using hearing aids. In some cases, earwax can even damage your hearing aids. People with earwax issues should use specific good quality hearing aids for earwax buildup.

The Symptoms of Earwax Blockage and Buildup

There are considerable number of signs and symptoms that resembles earwax buildup or blockage. Our experts have shortlisted a few of the most significant symptoms below:

  • Feeling of fullness inside your ear
  • Earache
  • Dizziness
  • Frequent coughing
  • The effects of tinnitus
  • Reduced hearing

These are a few of the most significant symptoms that show severe earwax build-up or blockage.

Who Faces these Earwax Build-Up Issues?

Everyone can get a buildup of earwax inside their small ear canal, which can happen at any time. Although, it’s more likely to happen to those who:

  • Use earbuds, earplugs, or hearing aids.
  • Have certain skin conditions or lots of ear hair.
  • Put cotton swabs too frequently in their ears.
  • Older people.
  • Have certain disabilities

Children

Children also produce earwax. Whether there’s an earwax accumulation or not, you should only use a clean washcloth and properly clean the outside of the ear. You won’t have to worry much as long as you don’t see any significant signs of earwax buildup when you see your children pulling or tugging their ears or face issues with hearing. In these cases, you can always consult with your doctor.

Senior Adults

They may have trouble with earwax buildup, especially when using hearing aids, and ignore their ears’ care. This carelessness might build up earwax and cause severe hearing impairment.

Possible Diagnosis of Small Ear Canal Wax Problems

There are many ways you can remove earwax from your ears.

You can always wipe the ear’s exterior with a clean cloth. Point to be noted. You don’t need to stuff the cloth into your ear canal as this can have adverse effects on your ear canal.

Moreover, you can also use cerumenolytic (wax-dissolving) solutions in the ear canal. These solutions are an amazing remedy, according to our experts. These wax-dissolving solutions include:

  • Baby oil
  • Mineral oil
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Glycerin
  • Saline solution

You can pour a few drops to the affected ears using a dropper so that the solution can easily drip inside. You can even soak a clean cotton ball in the solution and place it over the afflicted ear.

Alternatively, you can also rinse or syringe the inside of your ear. Rinse the inside of your ear canal with saline solution or water using a syringe. This is usually done after a cerumenolytic has softened or dissolved the wax.

Finally, your doctor can use specific tools to remove the wax manually. A forceps, cerumen spoon, or suction device may be used to remove the wax from your ear canal.

Although, if you still face hearing problems even after the wax removal, then your doctor may suggest you hearing aids for small ear canals. This can indeed help you to hear properly and you won’t have to worry about hearing issues any more.

FAQ

1.   What possible issues you might encounter with having earwax buildup?

Earwax build-up can have severe issues if not treated properly. The unwanted accumulation of earwax might result in ear pain, tinnitus, certain dizziness, irritation, and even hearing loss. If the hearing loss gets worse, then doctors might also recommend to use hearing devices. It entirely depends on the situation your ear is at.

2.   Which solution easily dissolves earwax?

You can simply remove the earwax at home with just using 3% of hydrogen peroxide solution. All you have to do is drip 5-10 drops inside your ear. Keep your head tilted on the opposite side of the ear you used the solution. Wait for 5 minutes so that the solution can penetrate inside the wax. Repeat this for 14 days and you’ll get your desired result. 

3.   What foods are responsible for causing earwax accumulation?

Yes, it’s true. Even foods can contribute to earwax accumulation. There are many kinds of food that are responsible for earwax build-up. Below are some of the most common diets that can contribute to small ear canal wax problems.

  • Caffein
  • Sweet foods
  • Gluten
  • Diary products

4.   Can steam help you to soften earwax?

Steam shower might also help release earwax blockage. You can buy an earwax-loosening solution or prepare yourself with a spoonful of sea salt and a half cup of warm water. Let the solution drip inside the ear with a warm towel. This steam will loosen the hard earwax accumulation.

Bottom Line

Cleaning your ears are important if you want to keep them healthy. Too much earwax accumulation might result in ear infection which can also result in hearing impairment. Moreover, tinnitus might be another significant cause of earwax build-up.

Therefore, it’s crucial that you once in a while clean your ears and try not to pick it or use cotton swabs as it can cause adverse effects to the small ear canal. You can always consult with an audiologist if you want further suggestions regarding your earwax problems. 

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