Earwax, the earwax that forms in the ear canals and helps prevent bacteria and dust from entering the ear canal, can also signal problems. Learn to identify some of the symptoms by the characteristics of this natural secretion, which is produced by the sebaceous glands of our body. If using cotton swabs, handle them carefully so as not to puncture the eardrum, a very common accident.
See below for the most common types of cerumen and the information that each of them can indicate.
1. Cerumen with a strong odor
If an intense and unpleasant smell comes from the ears, be aware that it may be related to balance problems, which can lead to a permanent tinnitus and / or even a blocking hearing sensation. It is most likely to have an infection or damage to the ear canal which, if left untreated, could lead to chronic otitis media.
2. Wet and green tone cerumen
It is usually caused by excessive sweating, which may be associated with the assiduous practice of intensive sports or diseases such as hyperhidrosis. It is enough that small drops from the sweat enter the ear so that the cerumen presents these particularities. To prevent this sweat from entering, wipe the outside of the ears several times a day.
3. Scaly cerumen
The only cause of this cerumen characteristic is simply age. As we get older, the wax we develop in the ear becomes more flaky and less thick. To remove scales, use a damp cloth or cotton cloth. Washing your ears every day is discouraged.
4. Thick cerumen
It can be viscous or dry. An international study published by the journal Nature Genetics states that consistency varies by climate. People living in Asia have a dry earwax, while the inhabitants of Africa and Europe have a thicker, more viscous earwax, the researchers concluded. The accumulation of dry wax can generate tinnitus, causing problems of hearing, skin irritation and even vertigo.
Cholesteatoma is the progressive and abnormal growth of the epidermis due to infections or perforation of the tympanic membrane. If you experience intense pain and a strong pressure in the area of the ear canal, as well as changes in the normal production of earwax, see a doctor nearby who can advise you.
Text: Mafalda Baudouin