WAX IN THE EARS

The part of the ear that sticks out from the side of the head is not the really important part of the ear. It is called the external ear, and it merely fetches sounds and directs them into the ear canal. From there, the sound laves pass through the eardrum into the middle ear where hearing actually starts to take place.

Did you know that a person can hear almost as well as normal even without the part of the ear that sticks out from side of the head?

The ear canal is curvy, and that helps to protect the eardrum from anything that might accidentally get into the ear. Also, the skin that lines the ear canal manufactures an orange-colored, sticky wax that prevents tiny insects or dust from getting near the eardrum. An insect’s feet will get caught in the sticky wax, so he won’t be able to get very far inside. Dust and dirt that might fly into the ear from a gust of wind also get stopped by the sticky wax. This system of protection works beautifully. Just think, you never heard of anyone getting a mosquito bite deep inside the ear, did you?
Some children have the bad habit of sticking things into their ears, and it is possible that they could scratch or injure the skin that lines the ear canal. So, everyone is taught not to put pencils, sticks, or other pointy things into their ears.

Once in a while, the glands in the skin of the ear canals make more wax than is actually needed. Then, the wax collects in the canal and from time to time, pieces of the wax fall out of the canal. Occasidhally, the wax hardens in the canal and it doesn’t fall out as it should. As a matter of fact, a big collection of hard wax in the ear canal can interfere with hearing.

Excess wax in the ear canal can usually be wiped out with a bit of cotton, but a child should not try to do this alone. Most times, a mother or father will take a cotton applicator and will remove it easily. Sometimes, though, there is so much wax, and the wax is so hard, that even a mother or father can’t get it out. In such cases, the child is taken to a doctor who will remove it without much trouble. The doctor may first have the child use some eardrops to soften the wax so it will come out easily in a day or two. Or, the doctor might take a syringe and fill it with warm water and then syringe out the wax. It doesn’t hurt to remove wax from the ear, although it might feel a bit uncomfortable for a short time. But it is amazing how much better a person hears after getting rid of a lot of ear wax.

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The skin that lines the ear canal manufactures a sticky wax that prevents tiny insects or dust from getting near the eardrum, and protects the ear’s delicate hearing mechanism. Once in a while, the wax can build up and harden into a plug that interferes with hearing. Then it must be removed by a physician.

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