Earwax and Its Importance
General
Nov 8, 2020

You will not believe that earwax is actually important for good health. See the video to know more about earwax.

The medical term for earwax is cerumen. It is a naturally occurring substance in the outer ear. Earwax includes oil, sweat, dirt and dead skin cells. Some people make more earwax, and for some it becomes harder and drier. Earwax may increase because of stress and exercise.  

You will not believe that earwax is actually important for good health.

  • Earwax is a natural barrier. It prevents dirt and bacteria from entering the innermost parts of your ears. Earwax is sticky so it collects microscopic debris that enters the ears. If earwax is not there, the inner ear would be at risk. 

  •  Earwax is a natural moisturizer and protective coating for your ear canal. Without earwax, the outer ear will become dry, itchy and flaky and it may cause ear infection.

  •  Earwax also acts as an insect repellent. The smell of earwax keeps bugs / insects away and the stickiness traps those that accidentally enter the ear.   

How to safely clean your ears

Experts strongly discourage twirling cotton-tipped swabs in the ears.The ear is self-cleaning. Earwax is produced within the ear canal and naturally migrates from deeper inside to outside. 

  • Inserting a cotton tipped swab into the ear can damage the ear canal or eardrum, or push earwax farther into the canal, making it harder to remove. This may cause a feeling of pressure in the ear, diminished hearing and painful ear infections.

  • Do not try ear candling. Besides having no proven benefits, ear candling can cause burns, wax blockage, punctured eardrums and serious injury.  

  • Wash your ears using a warm, soapy cloth. Letting warm water from your daily shower run into your ears often is enough to soften and loosen excess earwax. 

  •   If you wear hearing aids, make sure you clean them properly. 

  •   If you're older than 60, have your hearing evaluated periodically by a hearing healthcare professional.

  •  See a doctor immediately if your home treatments don't help or if you experience sudden hearing loss, pain or bleeding.