What is Earwax?
Cerumen, the medical term for the wax in your ear canals, is a normal skin secretion. It is NOT dirty and its presence is not a sign of poor hygiene. Wax is an important part of the protection of the ear canal from skin irritation and infection.
The militant removal of wax from the ears may lead to itching, dryness, and a propensity to infection. “Swimmer’s Ear,” a tremendously painful ear canal skin infection, is more common when there is a wax deficit. The protective coating of cerumen protects the canal from invading bacteria and fungus.
Some people naturally make too little wax, often in association with generalized dry skin conditions. The application of mineral oil, a few drops weekly, can go a long way to improving the health of the canal.
Many people over-produce wax. There are many over-the-counter remedies that are effective. But at times they are not enough and a trip to the ENT is necessary to remove the excess.