Earwax buildup in kids is not a very serious issue but still, many parents get overly concerned about it. This article will help you to understand the problem of earwax buildup in kids. Read on to know more…
You may think that earwax is a dirty thing but actually it provides protection to the delicate eardrum of your child. It keeps the ear free from dirt, dust or any such harmful substances that can have a damaging effect on the eardrum located deep inside the ear. It becomes a problematic issue when the child’s ear get blocked by a large amount of earwax. These lumps of earwax are quite hard and cause a lot of pain and discomfort. If the problem gets aggravated further, then it may cause partial or complete hearing loss too.
Basically, earwax is a soft lubricating substance with a yellowish color. There are small sweat glands called ceruminous glands in the outer part of the ear canal which secretes the earwax or cerumen. Then it forms a protective layer inside the ear canal to trap all the unwanted foreign elements entering the ear canal and prevents them from moving deeper into the canal.
This way, it keeps the ear in a healthy state. Once the earwax entraps dirt and debris inside the ear, it starts moving towards the ear opening from where it falls off as flakes. Or, it is removed when the outer part of the ear is washed off. Thus, there is no chance of accumulation of earwax inside the ear.
Earwax production is a continuous process. When the body start producing more amount of earwax than what can actually be eliminated, then it leads to earwax buildup. Now, small children have a very narrow ear canal through which the large amount of earwax cannot pass easily. As a result, the excess wax tends to get lodged inside the ear. In some children, the angle of the ear passage is somewhat defective and that prevents the wax from falling out.
Wrong wax removal technique is another major cause responsible for this problem. Many parents have this tendency to put a cotton swab into the child’s ear time and again to clean up earwax. What they do not realize is that the earwax is being pushed deeper into the canal by the swab. This earwax cannot come out without any outside help.
Earwax buildup may occur either in one ear or both the ears. In this condition, kids either complain about pain in the ears or tug their ears repeatedly. In this condition, the first thing that you should do is to take the child to the pediatrician. In any case, you should not try to treat it at home unless the pediatrician advise you to do so.
They conduct thorough examination of the ear before starting the treatment. Doctors use many different methods to clean up earwax from child’s ear. They may use a small tool called curette to remove the wax. Do not worry, this is not a painful technique. This tool is inserted into the ear and the loop at its tip will pick up the wax lump. Your child’s ears may have to be cleaned with a warm liquid. In this technique, warm sterile solution is filled up in a specially designed syringe and is flushed into the ear. This treatment will dislodge the earwax which will then come out on its own.
Sometimes, doctors may suggest you a safe and simple method for earwax removal. For this, you need some baby oil or hydrogen peroxide. Take any of these two liquids in an eye dropper and pour it into the ear drop by drop. Wait for about five minutes and then tilt their head on the other side so that the diluted wax drains out of the ear.
Earwax buildup in kids can be prevented by cleaning up the outer part of their ear with a wet washcloth daily. If the child has a recurrent problem of earwax buildup, then doctors prescribe a medicated ear drop to soften up the wax which facilitate its faster elimination. It has to be used once a week or as per the instructions of the doctor.