Skip to Content

Health Tip: What's Ear Wax?

-- Earwax (cerumen) is naturally made in the ear canal. It gradually travels to the opening of the ear, where it should fall out or be removed when you bathe, the Nemours Foundation says.

Sometimes, your ear makes too much of it. In some cases, the wax builds up in the ear, impairs hearing and must be removed from the ear by a medical professional.

Nemours notes the important role of ear wax:

  • It protects and moisturizes the skin, which helps prevent dry and itchy ears.
  • It contains special chemicals that fight off infection.
  • It acts as a shield for the eardrum, protecting it against dust, dirt and other foreign objects that enter the ear.

© 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2018

Read this next

Routine Ear Wax 'Flush' Leaves Woman's Face Paralyzed

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2019 -- In what doctors say is an extremely rare occurrence, a woman in her 70s went to her doctor to have impacted ear wax removed and wound up with permanent...

For Kids With Earwax, Skip Cotton Swabs, Expert Urges

FRIDAY, March 9, 2018 -- Cotton swabs might seem like handy tools for clearing wax from children's ears, but they just might do more harm than good. In fact, each year roughly...