What is Earwax?
Earwax (also spelled ear wax), medically referred to as cerumen, is produced by glands in the outer ear canal.
Its purpose is to trap dust and other small particles and prevent them from reaching and potentially damaging the eardrum.
Earwax also may prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in the ear canal.
What Causes Earwax?
Blockage, or impaction of earwax occurs when the wax gets pushed deep within the ear canal or fills the width of the canal. Earwax buildup and blockage affects about 6% of people and is the most common ear problem doctors see.
The most common cause earwax buildup and blockage is the use of Q-tips in the ear canal (and other objects such as bobby pins and rolled napkin corners), which pushes the wax deeper into the ear canal.
Hearing aid and earplug users are also more prone to earwax blockage.
Facts For Earwax:
Fact 1. Do you know that ear wax contains anti-bacterial properties? Yes, it is there to prevent certain types of infections.
Fact 2. Do you know that ear wax is also an insect repellent? It is there to protect your ears from bugs and insects which try to enter the ear.
Fact 3. Ear wax has another role to play. It is there to keep your ear canal lubricated. Otherwise, the area becomes dry and may also turn itchy.
Fact 4. Do you know what happens when you try to clean your ear with a cotton bud? Well, it can harm the ear drum by causing a rupture. In some cases, it can temporarily cause hearing loss. Also, the wax that is on the outer area is pushed towards the interiors of the ear which is not good.
Fact 5. What most of us don’t know is the fact that your ear knows how to remove the wax by itself. Regular muscular movements in the face help the ear to move the wax out. When you yawn or talk or move the facial muscles for any other purpose, the wax moves. That wax can be taken out with a finger when you are taking a shower.
Fact 6. If you keep cleaning your ear obsessively on a regular basis, that will do more harm than good. It can hurt the sensitive parts inside your ear and may also cause infection.