The Mysteries of Earwax


For most of us, earwax is something we rarely think about, unless it painfully clogs our ears or blocks our hearing. Occasionally, earwax blockage can feel like a head cold or sinus congestion. In some cases, this can cause pain and dizziness. Here are three things to know about ear wax:

1. Why do we have earwax?

Quite simply, earwax is the body’s way of protecting and cleaning our ears. Earwax traps small particles such as dust and germs and helps your body get them out of your ears. Earwax also helps protect the skin in your ear canals from becoming irritated when water gets inside your ears.

2. Where does it come from?

Earwax is produced by the combination of two types of glands in your ears, the Sebaceous glands and the Ceruminous glands. These glands secrete oil and proteins that combine with sloughed-off particles of skin and hair cells to create earwax. Your body’s earwax interacts and mixes with the top layer of skin in your ear canal. This layer of skin actually moves like a “conveyor” belt starting at the eardrum and slowly migrating toward the opening of your ear. As the skin moves forward, it pushes the earwax out of your ear.

3. Why should Q-Tips not be used to remove earwax?

The use of Q-Tip to clean your ears is not recommended. While you may get some earwax out, you are likely to push earwax deeper into your ear and cause a snowball effect where the wax gets stuck and slowly builds up and blocks your ears.

Got an ear full? If you are experiencing pain or hearing problems due to excessive build-up of earwax, consult a hearing health professional.

Hearing Help Plus : 1712 Sycamore Road : DeKalb, IL 60115 : 815-758-0157 :

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