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Frequently Asked Questions About Ears and Ear Wax

Posted on September 26, 2014

CLEAR EARS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

In clinic our Clear Ears Nurses are often asked about Ear Health and Ear Wax so we thought we would put together some answers and links to great articles to the most frequently asked questions.

Q. Why do I produce so much ear wax?

A. Some people just produce more ear wax than others, however, some things can actually cause the ear to produce more wax, these include:

  • Narrowing of the ear canal
  • Overgrowth of hair in the ear canal
  • Conditions such as hypothyroidism
  • Using cotton tips/ ear buds or wearing hearing aids can promote ear wax production through irritation of the canal lining.
  • Ageing and the loss of skin elasticity and decreased function can lead to build up of ear wax.
Ear canal blocked with wax

Ear canal blocked with wax

Ear canal blocked with ear wax and keratin sheet

Ear canal blocked with ear wax and keratin sheet

Additional cerumen impaction images can be found here.

Q. My ears feel full and I hear strange clicking and popping noises, what causes this?

A. This sounds like symptoms of Eustachian Tube dysfunction, Dr Christopher Chang from the team at Fauquier ENT has written a great article on this which can be found here.

Q.  I am about to fly overseas, should I get my ears checked?

A.  If you have a feeling of fullness or your hearing has recently dulled it is advisable to have your ears assessed prior to flying.  The pressure changes experienced during take off and landing can cause severe pain in the ears if the ears cannot be equalised.  The team at Johns Hopkins Medicine explain more here

 Q. What colour should my ear wax be?

A. Wax ranges in colour from a light clear yellow to dark brown to black wax.

 

Ear wax trapped in canal hair

Ear wax trapped in canal hair

Ear wax with Keratin sheets

Ear wax with Keratin sheets

Ear canal blocked with ear wax and keratin sheet

Ear canal blocked with ear wax and keratin sheet

Ear Wax

Ear Wax

Soft Ear Wax

Soft Ear Wax

Ear Wax

Ear Wax

 

 

 

 

 

 

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