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Earwax shields you, don't get rid of it.

Summary: Specialists warn continuous use of ear swabs may result in a punctured eardrum.

Earwax can be troublesome, but it plays a critical role in maintaining balance of your wellness and protection of ears.

Specialists warn that continuous use of cotton swabs may result in a punctured eardrum or push the earwax further inside trapping it in the ear canal, eventually leading to an ear inflammation.

The outer ear canal has specialised glands that produce cerumen, commonly known as earwax, which can become a source of discomfort to many people forcing them to use cotton swabs to get rid of it.

Dr Ahmed Alamadi, Consultant Otologist & Neurotologist and Medical Director at Al Baraha Hospital, and chairman of Dubai Otology Conference, said: "The purpose of earwax is to trap dust and other small particles and prevent them from reaching and potentially damaging the eardrum. Earwax keeps the ear canal skin protected from getting too dry, and it is a natural cleaner of the ear canal. In addition to all that, earwax may also prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in the ear canal, protecting it from inflammations."

"The rate of ear wax secretion differs from one individual to another, as it is with sweat secreted by sweat glands. There are many scientific hypothesis, which state that the excretion rate may increase in cases of stress and fear."

Dr. Ahmed Alamadi added: "In most cases, the ear canal does not need to be cleaned. During hair washing or showers enough water enters into the ear canal to loosen the wax that has accumulated. Additionally, the movement of the jaw would also help in getting rid of the earwax without active cleaning. However, for those who have a heavy wax build-up, a visit to the doctor may be essential as the accumulation may cause decreased ability in hearing and in some instances severe pain."

Dr Alamadi said that the third edition of Dubai Otology Conference & Exhibition scheduled to be held in October will include treatment of ear inflammation of infants in the UAE.

Members from the Arab Academy for Ear and Cochlear Implant was expected to attend the conference to discuss the development of unified standards for the accreditation of eligible centres for cochlear implants in the Arab region.

The Dubai Otology, Neurotology & Skull Base Surgery Conference & Exhibition is considered one of the most distinguished events in the region, and it is held under the patronage of Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health in the UAE. The Dubai Otology 2015 will be running from October 21 - 23 at the Mohammad bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre, Dubai Healthcare City.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 2, 2015
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