The body has many unique ways of defending itself from countless foreign bodies such as dust, pollen, bacteria, bugs and many, many other potential invaders. One such way the body does this is by producing things like mucus and earwax. Both of these icky, sticky substances, amazingly, are the foundation to a healthy body. It should also be noted that while cleaning the areas these substances are produced in is recommended sparingly, it is possible to cause injury if done improperly. Today, however, we will only be talking about the ear.
The ear is an interesting and complex organ with a couple of very important tasks. First thing that comes to mind for most people is hearing. The word ear brings up a specific image but that is only what we see on the surface. The part of the ear that we are familiar with is referred to as the ‘outer ear’. This part of the ear is resilient and also the entryway into the rest of the ear’s internal anatomy. It is also the main exit way for earwax.
Another familiar part of the ear would be the ear canal. This is where most earwax is found and often scraped from. This is also where the sensitivity begins. While trauma to the outer ear can affect hearing, most of it can be temporary if given treatment and time. However, damage or neglect to the inner ear is much more dangerous and much more likely to cause lasting problems.
Improper cleaning of the inner ear can lead to compacting the earwax within the ear or against the eardrum. This can cause irritation or itchiness and even some hearing loss in mild situations. If not taken care of, these symptoms can evolve into something more bothersome or even detrimental to general health. Ear infections can indeed occur from a build up of compacted wax, sometimes referred to as ‘hard wax’. Tinnitus, a condition where sufferers report ringing or hissing noises, can also occur. The most terrifying condition that can occur from impacted wax or a damaged inner ear is called vertigo.
Vertigo is when the ear’s second special function is disturbed, the ear’s ability to keep someone balanced. The ear is one of the most important organs for balance and some conditions can cause a disruption in balance. People who suffer this will probably notice an increase in clumsiness.
Doctors will usually check the ear during regular check ups by shining a light into the ear canal or administering a hearing test but do not wait until then if something feels strange. Symptoms such as not hearing clearly or being able to balance, or if there is a persistent ringing sound, contact a trusted medical professional to help. Most ear problems can be taken care of with a simple visit to the doctor’s office and medicine or a new routine introduced and recommended.
Please schedule your hearing assessment checkup with Southern Nevada Audiology in Las Vegas today! Learn more about the advancements in modern hearing aids.