Ear wax — also called cerumen — is a yellowish-brown substance produced by small glands in the ear canal. It can be hard and dry, or soft and wet. Believe it or not, ear wax actually has many protective benefits, including:
- Lubricating the ear canal
- Protecting the ear drum
- Helping to fight ear infections
Ear wax is generally fairly scant, and is naturally expelled during activities such as showering or bathing, exercising, and moving the jaw during chewing or talking. Daily ear cleaning is not necessary and should be avoided.
When wax accumulation becomes excessive, however, it can cause discomfort or hearing loss. If this happens, PLEASE DO NOT USE COTTON SWABS OR OTHER FOREIGN BODIES in the ear canal.
Inserting any object into the ear can cause serious damage. Instead, make an appointment for a professional to clean your ears using a microscope and proper instruments.