We all know the importance of looking after our ears. Not only do they allow us to hear, they are essential in keeping us on our feet since our balance is determined by our inner-ears. Yet, while we all know the importance of keeping our ears well looked after, some of us go about it the wrong way. All too often we start our day by jabbing a cotton bud deep into our ears and mining them for wax. However, your audiologist will tell you that this can potentially do more harm than good. Scooping the wax out of your ears may be satisfying (it’s okay to admit it), but a healthy amount of earwax is an important part of your health and hygiene. Earwax may look and feel gross, but it’s actually a potent natural antibacterial and antifungal agent. However, your ears can have too much of a good thing. Some of us can produce too much earwax, which can lead to a range of problems. Over time, excessive earwax gets compacted and hardens. This can result in;

  • Increased risk of infection
  • Hearing loss
  • Loss of balance

Thus, you should see your audiologist if you notice any of the following:

Earwax or discharge from your ears on your pillow

Healthy ears produce wax which is of a consistent color. It should usually be brown or orange in hue. However, excessive earwax buildup places us at risk of infection. If you have an infection in your ear, one of the most common symptoms is a waxy discharge from your ear or earwax on your pillow. If your earwax smells strange or is yellow or green in color these can also be signs of infection.

Dizziness and feeling of pressure in your ear

When wax builds up and hardens in the ear this results in a very distinct sensation. It’s common to feel a sense of pressure inside your ears which won’t abate even if you try to pop them by working your jaw or holding your nose. You may also feel dizziness as the change in pressure impacts upon the fluids in your inner ear which control your balance. In either case, you should see your audiologist for a thorough and professional ear clean. If your dizziness or feelings of pressure are caused by anything other than wax buildup, they will also be able to help you get to the cause.

Everything sounds muffled

Although hearing loss has a multitude of causes, rarely do we ever actually notice it. In most cases, hearing loss is extremely incremental, creeping up on us over the course of several years or even decades. Therefore, when we notice that everything sounds quieter or muffled, it’s likely that the cause of your hearing is wax buildup rather than many of the genetic factors behind hearing loss or the slow degradation of hearing that occurs naturally as we age. Once again, your audiologist can come to your rescue here. They can restore your hearing by clearing out excess wax. Aside from cleaning out your ears, your audiologist can also help to ensure that you’re taking good care of your ears and reducing your risk of hearing loss.