Friday, November 18, 2011

Hearing Aids and Ear Wax

We are often asked about ear wax, "What is it?" and "Where does it come from?". 

Ear wax is the sticky substance that comes out the opening of your ear canals.  The technical name is cerumen.  It is normal and healthy.  There are two glands in the ear canal that make the wax.  Each gland secretes an oil.  When the two oils mix together it becomes cerumen.  Sometimes one ear canal makes more wax than the other.  This too is normal and natural.

Cerumen even has a purpose.  First, most people are surprised to discover ear wax cleans the ear canal.  As ear wax moves along the ear canal it collects dust, dirt and other debris in the ear canal bringing the debris out with it.  Second, cerumen moisturizes the skin of the ear canal helping to prevent dry itchy ears.  Third, chemicals in the wax help inhibit infections and fungus in the canals. 

When wax gets into a hearing aid is can cause a couple of problems.  It can plug up the sound bore and block the sound from the hearing aid from getting to your eardrum.  If one uses a custom hearing aid or a receiver in the canal hearing aid, the wax can cause corrosion and a costly repair.  Cleaning hearing aids is important to keep them working well.  Life Sounds Great!  Enjoy Every Moment!

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