In the minds of many people, there must be such a concept: ear wax = nose wax = Baba = excrement = waste. Before today, Xiao Jiu also thought so. Xiao Jiu even felt that if his ears were not cleaned, his hearing would be affected. But in fact, earwax is the protective film of the ear. It has made great contributions, and we can also distinguish health by its appearance.
the “skill” of a small amount of earwax
1. Protect the ear canal
The common people often say that “earwax” is a substance secreted by the cerumen glands on the skin of the external auditory canal. Its medical name is “cerumen”. Because it is rich in oil, earwax can moisturize the fine hairs on the ear canal. These fine hairs can prevent the invasion of dust and bacteria in the air, prevent insects and other microorganisms from invading the ear, and reduce the occurrence of external otitis and mycosis.
2. Moisturize the ear canal
According to chemical analysis, earwax contains oil, fatty acid, stearin, protein and yellow pigment. Among them, grease can keep the ear canal at a certain temperature and humidity, especially for the eardrum deep in the ear canal, which can prevent it from drying up, so that the eardrum is often in the best movement state. If there is no earwax, the ear canal is too dry, which will cause ear itching and skin burning.
3. Protect eardrum
It actually acts as a protective film for mobile phones, but the protection object is not mobile phones, but ears. The eardrum is thinner than a cicada’s wing and is very delicate. Violent sound waves will damage the eardrum and even cause breakage. Earwax can narrow the cavity of the external auditory canal slightly, filter and buffer the incoming sound wave, reduce the decibel, and protect the eardrum from strong sound shock.
4. Protect hearing
Earwax protects the eardrum, that is, hearing. The reason why people can hear all kinds of sounds is that various sound waves from the outside pass into their ears and cause tympanic membrane vibration. Thunder, explosion, music, etc. the higher the volume, the stronger the tympanic membrane vibration, and over time, the auditory nerve in the ear will be damaged. Earwax can do something to protect hearing.
5. Bactericidal effect
Earwax contains lysozyme (an antibacterial enzyme that can destroy bacterial cell walls), immunoglobulins and other components, which can inhibit and destroy bacteria in the external auditory canal. Earwax is also rich in fatty acids. It forms an acid film on the surface of the skin of the ear canal, leaving the external ear canal in an acidic environment. It has the function of mild sterilization and prevention of infection.
the “Curse” of ear wax accumulation
In fact, cerumen, as a kind of thing, can fall off and be discharged by itself with chewing and opening the mouth. But if cerumen is secreted too much and its discharge is blocked, it will gather in the ear canal and block the external ear canal.
A small amount of earwax can protect our ears. But if ear wax accumulates and is ignored, it will cause “trouble”. Ear wax accumulates. There is a medical term called cerumen embolism.
According to family genetics, people’s earwax can be dry or wet. Among them, wet earwax is called oily earwax. This kind of earwax is not easy to self clean and often produces quickly. If it is not treated for a little longer, it is easy to cause cerumen embolism.
the adverse consequences of cerumen embolism are:
1. Hearing loss
Cerumen completely blocks the external auditory canal and can cause hearing loss. The main clinical manifestation is conductive hearing loss. If water is accidentally put into the ear at this time, cerumen will swell when it meets water, which will cause sudden hearing loss.
2. Ear tightness and pain
It is not difficult to understand that large pieces of earwax block the external ear canal, which will cause ear tightness and earache. It is just like plugging the ear with earplugs, which will be uncomfortable over time. Cerumen embolization can induce erosion, swelling and granulation of the skin of the external auditory canal, which is manifested as ear pain or stuffy feeling.
3. Cause dizziness
Vertigo can be caused by earwax, which has been reported in many clinical cases. When cerumen compresses the eardrum, it can cause tinnitus and dizziness. Usually, once a large piece of cerumen is removed, the patient will feel refreshed and dizzy symptoms will disappear immediately.
4. Other impacts
If cerumen compresses the skin of the posterior wall of the external auditory canal, it may cause reflex cough by stimulating the ear branch of the vagus nerve. In addition, too much earwax can also cause otitis externa, and even produce cholesteatoma of the external auditory canal.
Therefore, once you find that you have a large amount of ear wax accumulated in the external auditory canal, you must remove it in time.
If you don’t have much earwax and have no symptoms, try not to pull out your ears. If your ears are itchy, dip a cotton swab in some alcohol and gently rotate them in the external auditory canal for a few circles, not too hard. The situation that really needs to be treated in the hospital may be cerumen embolism.
Pulling out one’s ears may seem like a trivial matter, but there are also many risks. Once your hand shakes, you may damage the skin of the external auditory canal, stab the eardrum, etc., which is easy to cause chronic inflammation, not to mention the possibility of becoming deaf. Go to the hospital and sign the number of the otolaryngology department.
extended reading: earwax can reflect physical conditions
Just as the color of urine reflects health status, the color and smell of earwax can also reflect physical status. We can tell if we are healthy by ear wax.
1. Earwax is green and slightly wet – suppurative otitis media
Normal earwax is light yellow. If there is green secretion in the ear canal, it is purulent secretion caused by bacterial otitis media. Suppurative otitis media is a suppurative inflammation of the middle ear mucosa, which is common in children and is also a common cause of hearing loss in children.
2. Earwax is dark and sticky – sweat smell is very unpleasant.
If your earwax is white and flaky, it indicates that you lack substances that cause body odor, and the smell of sweat will not be unpleasant. If your earwax is dark and sticky, it means that your sweat smells bad.
According to statistics, more than 80% of earwax of people with strong underarm odor is often light yellow viscous liquid. This may be related to the distribution of sweat glands in the ear canal and endocrine hormones in the body.
3. Earwax has a strong odor – chronic otitis media and mastoiditis
If earwax is accompanied by bad smell for a long time, it generally belongs to chronic otitis media and mastoiditis. Mastoiditis is a disease with further development of otitis media. It is characterized by lingering inflammation and is difficult to heal, and there is a risk of cholesteatoma. It can be diagnosed by X-ray examination.
Finally, I would like to remind you not to pick your ears at will. Earwax is not so much as to block the external ear canal. It is a bacterial cleaner. If it is hollowed out, it will eventually hurt the ear!