Why Earwax is Good For Your Ears
By: Kelly Warf, Au.D.
David Tojo, M.D.
Put the Q-tip down! Leave the earwax in your ear to do its job. The glands in your ear canal produce this substance, also known as cerumen, to protect your ears. Let’s review the role earwax plays in your ear.
- Moisturizer: Earwax is a natural moisturizer for the skin in your ears preventing dry, itchy ears.
- Traps dust and debris: Earwax collects any dust or debris that enters the ear to prevent it from reaching deeper in your ear.
- Fights bacteria and infections: Antibacterial and anti-fungal properties in earwax makes it an agent to repel bugs and prevent infection.
- Self-cleaning: Ear maintenance should be easy as it is a self-cleaning system. Cerumen is secreted at the outer edge of your ear and naturally works its way out by pushing out the old cerumen to make room for new.
- Recommended cleaning includes wiping the outer folds of your ear and earlobe with a washcloth. Q-tips tend to push more earwax deeper in your ear then it is pulling out. Putting anything in your ear may scratch or damage the eardrum. Injuries in the ear take longer to heal, thus the risk of infection occurring during recovery increases.
Some people produce more earwax than others; this can be related to genetics, diet, and certain medications. In this case, Debrox is recommended to assist in the removal processes and slow the earwax build up. Debrox acts to liquify the cerumen for easier removal, whether the removal is naturally or from a medical professional. If your ear produces too much wax resulting your ear being occluded, see your ENT specialist for proper removal. Schedule your appointment at the Ear, Nose, and Throat Center today. Call 847-685-1000