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Benefit of Earwax

Ear wax, the waxy yellowish substance found in the ear channel made with a blend of dead skin cells and emissions of the ear organs. Also called cerumen, it’s difficult to envision that earwax can be much else besides a sterile irritation.

While it might feel fulfilling to evacuate entire pieces of overabundance earwax from your ears, particularly with cotton buds, you could do significantly more harm to your listening ability than you might suspect. Staying a cotton bud into your ear is risky for a bigger number of reasons than just possibly blasting your ear drum.

Why We Need Earwax

Not using cotton buds to remove earwax isn’t just wise because of the damage you may cause but because we do in fact need earwax. At the right levels, earwax is able to clean, lubricate and protect our ears – all very important functions in keeping our hearing healthy.

Earwax can help to clean our ears. Yes. Clean. And as a part of this process, excess wax is able to find its way out of the ear canal aided by jaw movement and into the outer ear where it can be washed away without using an intrusive cotton bud. Along the way, the earwax will pick up and carry along with it dirt and dust that would have been gathered in the canal.

As well as cleaning, being the waxy substance that it is, it is natural that ear wax have a lubricating property as well. Imagine how unbearable an itching or burning of the skin inside your ears would be. Especially knowing now, how dangerous the use of cotton buds are, you couldn’t even scratch. Luckily, the lubricating property of earwax helps to prevent this.

And if cleaning and lubricating weren’t reason enough to keep your earwax, it is also able to protect your ears from bacteria. The cerumen in our earwax has been found to have antibacterial effects, slowing the growth of some fungi and bacteria and protecting our ears. But although earwax may be beneficial is so many ways, there are of course instances in which it may also cause some damage that we should be wary of.

How Earwax Can Be Harmful

The cleaning, lubricating and protection properties of earwax position it as a very useful tool. But when your glands make too much of it, it can become a problem. When too much earwax is produced by your glands, excess wax will usually dry, harden and block your ear canal. The wax will then no longer be able to clean and remove itself from your ears, resulting in more wax accumulating and possibly leading to infection.

Although wax buildup can occur naturally, using cotton buds can yet again add to the problem. Often, using cotton buds will not fully remove earwax but push it back further into the ear canal instead, making it more difficult to remove and thus allow for wax buildup.