In addition to advancing age, noise exposure and ototoxic drugs, one potential cause of hearing loss is earwax blockage, known medically as impacted cerumen. While total blockage or severe hearing loss caused by this is rare, having too much earwax can, in fact, affect your hearing.
How We Hear
Soundwaves from your environment are captured by the outer ear and travel down the ear canal, which leads to the eardrum. When the soundwave hits the eardrum, a vibration is created, which passes through three tiny bones within the middle ear called the malleus, incus and stapes. This vibration reaches the fluid-filled cochlea in the inner ear, which causes the fluid to move. This movement activates the tiny hair cells that line the cochlea, creating an electrical impulse. This electrical impulse travels via the auditory nerve to the brain where it is interpreted as sound.
How Earwax Can Cause Hearing Loss
There only needs to be a tiny opening in the ear canal for soundwaves to travel through. However, in rare cases, the ear canal can be totally blocked by earwax, meaning the waves cannot reach the eardrum or travel though the rest of the ear. This can impact your hearing ability.
You’ll probably notice other symptoms of impacted earwax before you notice hearing loss at, Bestia, such as feeling of fullness in the ears, itchy ears, ear pain, dizziness or ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
Why Blockage Is Rare
Total blockages caused by earwax are rare because the ears are self-cleaning. If left alone, earwax works its way out of the ear canals through natural jaw movements when talking, chewing and yawning.
Blockage is more likely if you interfere with this process, like if you stick a cotton swab in your ears or use other ill-advised methods. This can push earwax further in rather than scooping it out.
If You Have an Earwax Blockage…
If you have an earwax blockage, you should not try to remove it yourself. Instead, schedule an appointment with an expert at The House Institute Hearing Health Centers. They can remove the blockage safely and effectively so you can hear your best and avoid any other unpleasant symptoms.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call The House Institute Hearing Health Centers today.