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Ear wax removal is necessary to maintain a healthy ear. Earwax is produced by glands in the ear canal. It protects the skin of the human ear canal, assists in cleaning and lubrication, and also provides some protection from bacteria, fungi, insects, and water. Normally, the wax dries up and falls out of the ear, along with any trapped dust or debris. Everyone makes ear wax, but the amount and type are genetically determined just like hair color or height. Smaller or oddly shaped ear canals, as well as excessive ear wax may make it difficult for the naturally occurring wax to get out of the canal and lead to wax impactions.
Blockages in the ear canal, called impactions, occur when the ear wax gets pushed too far into the ear canal. This can occur when q-tips or other objects are used to remove outer wax and push the rest of the wax deeper into the ear canal. Impactions affect about 6% of people and are the most common of ear problems.
Symptoms of an Ear Wax Impaction Include:
The ear shares nerves with other nearby structures including the face, eyes, jaw, teeth, and upper neck. Pain that feels as if it is in the ear may actually originate in another structure in the head or neck. This is called referred ear pain and is more common in older adults. Can wisdom teeth cause ear pain? Wisdom teeth causing ear pain is not uncommon as the teeth may cause some pressure to the ear.
Other causes of ear pain include:
At Fox Medical Centers we are glad to help you and treat any medical concerns you may have, including ear wax removal.
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