The ear canal has special glands that produce a waxy substance called cerumen. The ear canal is a tube from the outer ear leading to the eardrum. The ear wax is mainly produced to protect your ear canal from dust particles, water, infections, and injury. After the production of ear wax in the ear canal, the movement of your jaw while chewing makes the wax move from the ear canal to the outer ear. Some bad lifestyle habits and foods might cause excess production of ear wax which we have discussed below.
Our body naturally removes the ear wax from the ear canal. But in some cases, our body makes more wax than it removes. There are many reasons for this condition. Your diet can also cause excess production of ear wax. Excess production of ear wax can lead to ear wax blockage, which further causes ear problems like ear pain, itchiness, dizziness, and even hearing loss in the long run.
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Why Your Body Produces Ear Wax?
Ear wax is mainly produced by the ear to clean and protect the ear canals. It also helps in keeping your ear canal moisture and prevents dry ears. Ear wax also consists of anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties that kill any bacteria that causes infection to your ear.
Symptoms of Excess Production of Ear Wax
There are various symptoms of excess ear wax production. Some of the major symptoms are:
- Itchiness in ears
- Difficulty in hearing
- Pain in the ear
- Excess discharging from the ear
- Dark or black ear wax in the ear
- Odor coming from the ear
Foods That Causes Excess Ear Wax
Gluten is a type of protein that is mostly present in wheat. It is also found in foods that are made with barley and rye. An excess amount of gluten consumption can lead to more production of ear wax.
Gluten intake does not cause much trouble for many people. But people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease are advised to reduce gluten consumption as it can cause serious problems. If your body is producing more wax than regular, then reduce the consumption of gluten intake in your diet. Also, you can test the gluten level in your body and can get some doctor’s advice.
2. Dairy Products
The lactose that is present in dairy products can also cause more production of ear wax. Some people also have the condition of lactose intolerance that their bodies find it difficult to digest lactose.
Lactose is mainly found in dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter, etc. Lactose intolerance also causes bloating, vomiting, nausea, constipation, and abdominal pain. If you are experiencing excess production of ear wax, cut out the dairy products from your diet.
Too much sodium in your diet can also cause more production of ear wax. Excessive sodium consumption also causes Meniere’s disease and hearing problems in the long run. Salt or sodium can cause high blood pressure, which affects the blood flow to your ears and increases ear wax production. To avoid this condition, you can lower the amount of sodium intake in your daily diet.
Caffeine is majorly found in coffee, tea, and many energy drinks as well. Caffeine is among the list of top foods that produces more ear wax in your ear canal. Even though a limited amount of caffeine intake is good for your health, overconsumption can cause faster ear wax production and other ear problems like decreased hearing, ear pain, and tinnitus.
The glucose present in sugar also causes more ear wax in your ear canal. Sugar contains almost 50% of glucose. Also, more intake of sugar can cause various ear problems. Studies have shown that people with diabetes have a 30% higher chance of hearing issues than normal sugar levels. If your body produces more ear wax than normal, reduce the intake of sugar levels in your diet.
Soy or soybean is a type of legume which is mainly replaced for meat. Many people consume soy milk to replace cow’s milk. But overeating soy and its products like tofu, soy nuts, or soy sauce will also lead to more ear wax production. Cutting down the intake of soy from your diet can help in reducing the production of ear wax.
Alcohol is one of the main reasons that your ear canal produces more ear wax. Overconsumption of alcohol makes your ear absorb more fluid and increases the blood flow to your ear, which causes an ear infection, tinnitus, and over secretion of ear wax in the ear canal.
Your ear contains a eustachian tube that connects the middle part of your ear to the back of your throat. The main purpose of this tube is to balance the pressure in the middle ear and ease the secretion of ear wax from the middle ear. Smoking causes pressure buildup in the middle ear, leading to over-discharge of ear wax from the ear canal. It also causes many other ear problems such as loss of hearing, ear wax buildup, ear infections, etc.
Other Factors That Cause More Ear Wax Production
Other than your diet, some factors like stress, hygiene, and your lifestyle can also cause excessive ear wax production. Frequent use of headphones or earbuds, incorrect cleaning methods, or excess cleaning can also lead to more production of ear wax than normal.
Ear wax is the most common thing in the human body. A certain amount of ear wax is good as it prevents the ear from any infections and damage. But the excess amount of ear wax production can be uncomfortable and unhygienic as well. These are the list of foods that causes an excess of ear wax, and decreasing the consumption of this food can reduce ear wax production. If you are experiencing more ear wax production and itchiness in your ear even after cutting down these foods from your diet, you should consult your doctor to identify the cause.