Can earwax be a good thing? Yes! It helps your body eliminate dead skin cells and dirt. It also keeps the acidity of your ear canal balanced.
Earwax is produced in the ear canal. Normally, wax dries up and falls away like dead skin cells. It is often easily removed with standard hygiene like showering and bathing. However, some people produce more wax than is necessary, which can lead to wax buildup. The longer the wax remains in the ear, the more difficult it is to remove. The likelihood of developing impacted earwax or hardened earwax can increase if you wear hearing aids.
If your ear does not migrate the wax out of your ear naturally, an over the counter ear drop will help soften and break up the wax. Be cautious about cleaning out earwax yourself. You should never stick anything in your ear with the intention of removing earwax— not even a cotton swab. Using a cotton swab can actually push the wax deeper inside where it can get stuck and cause more significant issues. Anything smaller than your elbow has the potential to damage the ear and its delicate structures.
If you feel as though ear wax may have built up and become impacted, call one of our audiologists. We can help remove hardened earwax with special tools, suction, or gentle irrigation procedures. Keeping your ears healthy is important to your overall health.