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Causes and Symptoms of Ear Wax Blockage and how this can be treated?

Ear wax is a very general problem but it should be taken lightly. It involves wax buildup that produces a sensation of fullness in the ear, and possibly partial deafness. Though it is not a serious problem but if cleanliness is not maintained, it can have dangerous effects.
The glands present in the outer canal of the ear secrete wax. The stale ear wax is methodically conveyed from the ear canal to the opening of the ear, where it dries up along with the accumulated foreign particles and falls out.
Ear wax (cerumen) lines the ear canal, protecting the skin from water and trapping bacteria and other debris, then expelling it. The excess earwax can block your ear canal, causing an earache and decreased hearing in the involved ear.

Causes of Ear Blockage

– Wax accumlation.
– Foreign body lodged within the ear can give rise to a sensation of block.
– Inflammation of the ear canal can give rise to a sensation of block.
– Tumors or growths within the ear canal can also give rise to a blocked feeling.
– Another common cause of ‘blocked ear ‘ occurs when we travel in an aeroplane. This leads to pressure changes across the middle and outer ear which is reflected as a blocked feeling in the ear.
– Negative middle ear pressure. This is caused by a malfunctioning Eustachian tube which connects the middle ear to nose. The pressure equalizes between the middle ear and outside world when we swallow or yawn. When it does not work properly, negative pressure develops in the middle ear, making the ear feel blocked.

Signs and Symptoms of Ear Blockage

– Flakes or crusts of wax falling out of the ear.
– A feeling of fullness in the ear.
– Dulled hearing.
– Noises in the ear (tinnitus).

How can Ear Blockage be treated ?

– Never use a cotton swab or sharp object to try to remove wax yourself.
– Water irrigation can be used to flush the wax out.
– A doctor may instead opt to remove the wax by using a curette or a cerumen spoon which is like a tiny spoon with a long handle.
– There are over-the-counter ear drops to loosen wax so that it can be expelled. A disadvantage to using these drops is that they tend to only work well on small blockages.

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