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EAR WAX BUILD UP

EAR WAX BUILD UP


WHAT IS EAR WAX?

Ear wax is a natural occurring substance called cerumen that is produced by sweat glands inside the ear. Its role is to protect the delicate inner ear from foreign particles such as dust and bacteria.1

Cerumen is made of an oily mixture of skin, oils, and excretions from the ceruminous glands as well as some skin proteins and fatty acids.

Types of ear wax

There are two types of ear wax – wet and dry.

The type of ear wax you have is primarily determined by your genetics. People of Caucasian and African descent are more likely to have the wet type of ear wax (often identified with an oily, golden colour); while those of Asian or Native American descent are likely to produce the dry type, which is often grey and flaky.

Signs you are experiencing ear wax build up1 

  • Temporary hearing loss
  • Feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Tinnitus (a ringing in the ears)
  • Earache
  • Dizziness

Reference:
1. Poulton S. et al. AFP. Ear wax management. 2015. 44(10):731-734. [Accessed December 2019].https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2015/october/ear-wax-management/