What exactly is earwax and what does it do?

Is that a finger in your ear?

Professor Hallux

Here’s what Professor Hallux has to say:

Great question! Earwax might look yucky but it’s brilliantly helpful stuff. It’s made in special glands in your outer ear canal and the fancy name for this waxy stuff is cerumen .

So why do we need it? Well, earwax has several important jobs. First, it protects and moisturises the skin of the ear canal, preventing dry, itchy ears. Second, it contains special chemicals that fight off infections that could hurt the skin inside the ear. Finally, it acts as a shield between the outside world and the eardrum. When dust, dirt and other things enter your ear, the earwax traps them so they can’t travel any further.

So remember never to poke things inside your ears to get rid of wax because the wax is doing an important job – and you could hurt yourself! Although, if you’re having trouble hearing it’s possible you have too much wax – but that’s something to ask your doctor about.

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