Understanding Ear Wax: Types, Causes, and What to Do in Wolverhampton

Posted on April 24, 2024 by John Beharrell
Ear Wax in Wolverhampton: Understanding the Different Types and Their Causes

Ear wax, though sometimes misunderstood, plays a crucial role in protecting your ears in Wolverhampton. However, excessive or dry ear wax can lead to discomfort and hearing problems. In this guide, we explore the different types of ear wax and their potential causes, specifically focusing on issues commonly seen in Wolverhampton’s population.

Understanding Ear Wax

Ear wax, also known as cerumen, is a natural substance produced by glands in the outer ear canal. It acts as a barrier, trapping dust, dirt, and even insects, preventing them from reaching the delicate inner ear. Ear wax also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, keeping your ears healthy.

Types of Ear Wax

There are two main types of ear wax:

  • Wet ear wax: This sticky, brown, or yellowish wax is more common in people of Mediterranean, African, and Asian descent. It’s generally softer and less likely to cause blockages.
  • Dry ear wax: This flaky, grayish, or whitish wax is more prevalent in individuals of Caucasian descent. It can be drier and harder, potentially leading to impaction.

Factors Affecting Ear Wax Production

Several factors can influence the type and amount of ear wax you produce:

  • Genetics: The ABCC11 gene significantly determines your ear wax type.
  • Age: Ear wax production tends to decrease with age.
  • Ear canal size and hairiness: Narrow or hairy canals can trap wax more easily.
  • Skin conditions: Eczema or psoriasis can affect ear wax production.
  • Certain medications: Some drugs can make ear wax drier or stickier.
  • External factors: Dust, pollution, and swimming can contribute to wax buildup.

Learn: Techniques to prevent earwax buildup

Common Ear Wax Issues in Wolverhampton


While individual experiences vary, these are some common ear wax concerns observed in Wolverhampton’s population:

  • Dry ear wax impaction: A growing part of the population in Wolverhampton are from Asian descent. Due to genetics, those from Asian descent are more likely to have dry ear wax that appears to be white and flaky. Dry wax is also more frequent in older adults and individuals with narrower ear canals increasing the risk of impaction.
  • Hearing loss: Impacted ear wax can block the ear canal, causing muffled hearing or a feeling of fullness in the ear.
  • Tinnitus: Blockages can sometimes lead to ringing or buzzing sounds in the ear.
  • Skin irritation: Dry flakes from excessive ear wax can irritate the delicate skin of the ear canal.

Preventing Ear Wax Problems

Here are some tips to manage your ear wax effectively:

  • Avoid cotton swabs: They can push wax deeper into the canal, causing impaction.
  • Use natural cleaning solutions: Opt for over-the-counter olive oil drops or warm water irrigation kits when needed.
  • See an ear care specialist: Don’t attempt to remove deeply impacted wax yourself; seek professional help from an audiologist or ear care specialist.

Remember: While having some ear wax is entirely normal, be mindful of any changes in consistency, amount, or symptoms like hearing loss or discomfort. Consult your audiologist or ear care specialist for personalised advice and safe earwax removal Wolverhampton if needed. By understanding your specific ear wax type and taking preventive measures, you can avoid uncomfortable issues and maintain healthy hearing in Wolverhampton.