Facts About Earwax

Blocked earwax is the most common cause of hearing loss. This can happen if wax is pushed back toward the eardrum or if the ears produce more earwax than is needed. Symptoms of impacted earwax include earache, feeling of fullness in the ear, a sensation that the ear is plugged, and tinnitus. Your ear may also itch, have an odor, or emit a discharge.

Here are so little known facts about earwax.

Earwax Stops Your Ears from Itching

Earwax lubricates the ears like tears lubricate the eyes. The wax keeps your ears from feeling dry or itchy.

Earwax is Self-Cleaning

Whenever you move your jaw or chew, you help keep earwax churning slowly from the eardrum to the ear opening, where it will then either dry up, flake off, or fall out.

You Shouldn’t Put Anything in Your Ears

Since our ears are self-cleaning, we should never, ever stick anything in them! That includes Q-Tips. When you put something in your ear – to scratch an itch or to attempt to remove wax – you risk pushing wax further into the ear, where it can become blocked.

Earwax Varies by Race

Monell Center researchers found that, like with sweat, chemical compounds in earwax differ between the races, and the molecules that produce an odor are generally higher in Caucasians than in East Asians.

Stress & Fear Can Produce More Earwax

Just like stress can make you sweat more, it can also increase your earwax production.

No Ear Candles!

In an attempt to clear excess wax, some people have tried ear candling. Ear candling does not have any proven benefit and can cause burns, wax blockage, and a punctured eardrum.