Earwax, also known as cerumen , is a natural component of the ear canal. It is a waxy mass that helps to trap dirt and bacteria, and provides protection and lubrication for the ear. However, over time, cerumen can accumulate, resulting in a lot of earwax . The buildup may lead to ear infections , blockage , and reduced hearing , and even cause pain in the ear .
Earwax is a yellowish, waxy substance secreted from glands inside the ear canal. Earwax consists of shed skin cells mixed with oils produced by some hairs. Earwax also contains small amounts of keratin, cholesterol, and other substances. In general, as you age your ears make more and more earwax as your body produces less of it! The function of ear wax (in the outer portion of the canal) is to clean (sweep out dirt), lubricate (reduce friction), and protect (against bacteria, insects & water).
Luckily, there are some quick remedies that will help you remove it! You can use baby oil or mineral oil before bed every night to loosen up the wax so you can just wipe it away with cotton balls. This process should take around 30 seconds–just put some drops on your cotton ball or pad, wipe gently around your ear, and the wax should come off much easier than usual.
If you don’t have any baby oil or mineral oil, put some water in your ear canal before you go to bed at night . The water will loosen the wax , and when you wake up, all of the old wax will be out of your ears ! You can even use a towel or tissue paper to dry your ears after this process.
If all else fails, seek professional help at a clinic . Earwax can become impacted and even cause infection if left untreated.
Ear infections are not common in healthy ears because ear canals are self-cleaning — that means they usually do not need any help keeping themselves clean. If there is too much earwax in the canal, it starts to push against the opening of your ear. If earwax is pushed out onto the skin around the opening of your ear or if you try to clean that area with Q-tips, small objects like bobby pins, pencils etc., or anything else (even your finger!) you can easily damage your eardrum!
Ear infections are more common in places like swimming pools because people put things like fingers and hairpins in their ears when they swim. A person who suffers from repeated infections might be allergic to something; dust mites are a leading cause of allergy problems in children.