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How important is earwax? You will know after reading it!

  Frequent picking of ears is considered by many people to be a manifestation of personal hygiene. After taking a bath, you should use a cotton swab to clean your ears, and if you have nothing to do, use your little finger to clean your ears… But the otolaryngologist reminds everyone that earwax is not useless. Don’t keep picking your ears if you have nothing to do, it can also cause suppurative meningitis.

  Ear picking is fun for a while, but the more dangerous it becomes

  There is such a report in the Australian “That’s Life” magazine. The specific content is about a woman who has the habit of cleaning her ears with cotton swabs every night. But as time went by, she first suffered from hearing problems, then had an intracranial infection, and finally, her life was threatened. The culprit of this terrible outcome turned out to be the cotton fiber that went out of her ears. Friends around me are very concerned about this issue, asking me if it’s really that scary. It is really dangerous to pick your ears frequently.

Bacterial infection The ear cleaning tool itself may contain various bacteria. If the earwax is hard or abundant when cleaning the ear, it is easy to scratch the skin, and the bacteria will take the opportunity to enter and cause infection, leading to infection of the external auditory canal, causing pus and ear pain. Especially those who pick ears in public places are prone to diseases such as fungal otitis externa.

Cause eczema and damage to the skin of the external auditory canal. I believe many people have had this experience. Occasionally, there will be blood on the cotton swab when picking out the ear. Generally, we don’t care too much about it, thinking that we will be fine in a few days anyway.

In fact, this long-term repeated stimulation of the skin of the external auditory canal will not only cause skin damage, inflammation, roughness, and thickening of the external auditory canal, but also increase earwax secretion, and even cause diseases such as otitis externa or eczema.

There is another accident of piercing the eardrum, that is, when you are enjoying the pleasure of picking your ears, suddenly someone next to you touches you, your eardrum may be directly pierced, and the end result is hearing loss or even loss of hearing. cause otitis media.

Small piercings are fine, and most people heal on their own. Larger perforations require surgery to repair the eardrum. Don’t think I’m joking, we have actually encountered some patients with traumatic perforation of the tympanic membrane in the outpatient clinic, some of them were accidentally broken by themselves, and some were accidentally broken.

The last and most critical point of brain damage is that due to the close distance between the ear and the brain tissue, when severe external auditory canal infection or otitis media occurs, the inflammation tends to spread upwards, causing purulent meningitis, brain abscess, and other complications. This is why we have seen reports that some people have caused intracranial infections and even epilepsy due to ear picking.

  You may not know the four functions of earwax

Earwax, also known as cerumen, is a kind of oil secreted by the cerumen glands of the external auditory canal. Cerumen is oily and has a protective effect on the skin of the external auditory canal. The main components are oil, protein, and yellow pigment, as well as a small amount of water, potassium, sodium, and other elements. When earwax first came out, it had a certain amount of oil and water, which moisturized the skin, maintained humidity, and had a weak antibacterial effect. Fresh cerumen stays in the ear canal for a long time, and after the water evaporates, most of them become dry flakes, and some are sticky yellow. The latter is called “oily cerumen”. discharge. Cerumen has four main protective functions:

Antibacterial earwax is rich in fatty acids, which can build an acidic film on the surface of the ear canal skin, keeping the external auditory canal in an acidic environment, which can help the ear canal play a mild antibacterial effect and protect the external auditory canal from infection.

Heat preservation and moisturizing earwax can help the ear canal maintain a certain temperature and humidity, so as not to make the skin in the ear canal too dry.

Anti-foreign matter invasion The fine hairs on the ear canal skin moistened by the oil in the earwax can block external dust and prevent foreign bodies and small insects from directly invading the tympanic membrane.

Noise-proof earwax can narrow the space of the ear canal, thereby buffering the sound waves entering the ear and preventing the eardrum from being damaged by noise or severe sound.

  Say important things three times and don’t dig your ears

Should the ears be plucked? To be precise, in fact, there is no need for everyone to dig out their ears to clean up earwax. Under normal circumstances, earwax can slowly move from the ear canal to the mouth opening, and it will be expelled when the human body chews or opens the mouth. Taking a step back, a little bit of earwax will not affect our hearing at all, so we can ignore it.

The cerumen that cannot be discharged by the human body is generally deep or relatively hard. Improper cleaning may push the earwax deeper into the ear canal, which can easily cause cerumen embolism, causing discomfort such as dizziness, tinnitus, hearing loss, and reflex coughing. , or damage the sensitive tissue in the ear canal, causing permanent damage and causing more serious problems.

Some people like to use ear picks, matchsticks, cotton swabs, or even their own little fingers to pick out their own ears or their family members’ ears when they have nothing to do.

Of course, if you feel that cleaning your ears is not for removing cerumen, but just to enjoy the refreshing feeling, it is recommended that you take a cotton swab and swirl it a few times at the opening of the external auditory canal to enjoy yourself, and you must not dig it in.

  To remove cerumen, you should see a doctor, especially the elderly and children

If there is discomfort in the ear, the best way is to go to the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and let the doctor remove the embolized cerumen with the help of instruments. For dry cerumen embolism, 3%-5% sodium bicarbonate ear drops can be instilled into the external auditory canal first, 5-6 times a day, a few drops each time, and the doctor will check it under the ear endoscope after 3-4 days. Just rinse off the cerumen; for the “oily ears” of people with strong cerumen secretion or blocked discharge, you don’t need to dig it out yourself. It is recommended that you go to the hospital regularly and ask the doctor to help you clean it.

In addition, children and the elderly should pay attention when picking their ears.

Children’s external auditory canal is relatively narrower than that of adults, and their skin is more fragile. Frequent cleaning of children’s ears may damage the natural barrier of the child’s ear canal skin, and in severe cases, it may even cause ear canal eczema. Therefore, when the child does not take the initiative to express ear discomfort, parents should not pick out the child’s ear at will. It is not good if the parent frequently helps the child to clean the earwax. For some earwax that has been exposed at the opening of the external auditory canal, you can use safety tweezers for children to pinch it out. , Deep in the ear canal, don’t touch it easily. Do not remove the child’s cerumen by force, because the ear canal and tympanic membrane are easily damaged during the child’s struggle.

In the elderly, cerumen is not easy to discharge due to muscle relaxation, weakness of mandibular joint movement, and collapse of the external auditory canal opening. Excessive accumulation of earwax can cause symptoms such as tinnitus, ear plugging, ear pain, and hearing loss. If it persists for a long time, it will also cause social barriers for the elderly. It is recommended that family members try not to help the elderly to clean their ears to avoid accidents. It is best to take them regularly. The old man went to the hospital to clean his ears with the help of a doctor.

  Keep ear hygiene and pay attention to these details

How do we maintain ear health in daily life? It is recommended that you first try to avoid water in your ears when swimming or taking a bath. Once water enters, you can turn your head sideways to the ear on the side where the water has entered, and jump a few times appropriately. Basically, the water can come out. Do not roughly seal the opening of the external auditory canal with your palm and pull it outward, which may cause damage to the eardrum.

In addition, wearing earplugs while swimming is also a way to protect your ears. People who wear hearing aids should clean the cerumen of the ears regularly to avoid affecting the hearing aid effect. When the ears are inflamed, they should be treated in time, and the external auditory canal should be kept clean and dry.


Welcome to my blog. My name is Muhammad Hassaan. I am a blogger and have a knowledge of five years of blogging. I also belong to the field of health as a D pharmacy student. That's why I am running this health blog. I am very much interested to read articles on health and love to share information with other people and also get information from them. If you have any questions you can ask me through the contact us page. Thanks for Visiting us and Have a great day.

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