why do we have ear wax in our ears

The ear wax that is naturally produced by your body helps to clean, protect, and lubricate your ears. But ear wax sometimes builds up excessively, and if it does, you may want to turn to methods of ear wax removal. Ear wax, also called cerumen, is a sticky, shiny substance produced by the wax glands located in the outer part of your ear canal (the canal that separates the fleshy outer ear from the inner ear). Ear wax is 20 to 50 percent fat, and it coats the ear canal to moisturize it, fight off infection, and help keep dust, dirt, and other debris from getting deep inside your ear. Most people make enough ear wax, but if you have too little ear wax, your ears can become dry, itchy, and prone to infection. Once ear wax has served its purpose, it eventually migrates from your ear canal to the opening of your ear, where it normally dries up and falls out of your ear.


Although the reason is unknown, some people produce more ear wax than others. In some cases, excessive ear wax can accumulate in the ear canal and cause symptoms including:
The Safest Ways to Remove Excess Ear Wax Many people practice ear wax removal as part of their personal hygiene routine. Some people probe their ear canals with cotton swabs, hair pins, or other objects in an attempt to clean excess ear wax. But if done incorrectly, at-home ear cleaning can actually push wax deeper into your ear canal, block your ear drum, cause irritation of the ear canal, or cause your eardrum to rupture. To safely clean your ears at home, use a cloth to wipe and wash the fleshy external part of your ear, but avoid putting anything into your ear canal.


In some cases, putting a few drops of mineral or baby oil, glycerin, hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, or over-the-counter ear cleaning drops into your ear can help to soften and remove excessive ear wax. It's best to avoid using cotton swabs or other probing objects for at-home ear cleaning. If you feel you have excessive amounts of ear wax and it's affecting your hearing, talk with your doctor. She can examine your ear canal with a lighted instrument called an otoscope and remove problematic ear wax using ear drops, water irrigation, a suctioning device, or other instruments. Some people need to see their doctor every 6 to 12 months for an ear examination and ear cleaning to remove ear wax build-up.


What About Ear Candling? Ear candling is an ear cleaning practice that involves inserting long, hollow, lighted candles into your ear to remove excessive ear wax. But ear candling is not safe, because it can lead to injury, burns, or obstruction of your ear canal. In fact, because the safety issues associated with them are so serious, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put regulations into place for the manufacturing and marketing of ear candles. Find more information in the Everyday Health. It's sticky. It's shiny. But what is earwax, anyway and where does it come from? Earwax is made in the outer ear canal. This is the area between the fleshy part of the ear on the outside of your head (the part you can see) and the middle ear. The skin in the outer ear canal has special glands that produce earwax.


The fancy name for this waxy stuff is cerumen (say: suh-ROO-mun). After the wax is produced, it slowly makes its way through the outer ear canal to the opening of the ear. Then it either falls out or is removed when you wash. In most people, the outer ear canal makes earwax all the time, so the canal always has enough wax in it. So why do we need wax? Earwax has several important jobs. First, it protects and moisturizes the skin of ear canal, preventing dry, itchy ears. Second, it contains special chemicals that fight off that could hurt the skin inside the ear canal. 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.


If you want to get rid of earwax, here's what you need to do: nothing! Most kids don't need to do anything special to remove earwax. If you wash your hair regularly, this is enough to keep your ears clean. You can wipe the outside of your ear with a washcloth but don't use a cotton swab, your finger, or anything else to poke around inside your ear to remove earwax. Your ear canal and eardrum are very delicate, and you may hurt them or cause bleeding by trying to get rid of wax this way. Poking around in your ear can also push and pack the wax in further. In some kids, one or both ear canals make extra earwax. If this sounds like you, tell an adult. Doctors often can prescribe special medicines that are placed in the ear to get rid of extra wax.