It's not the most scintillating of topics, we know, but ear wax is something we all have and it can cause problems for many people.
Ear wax is a combination of sebum, skin cells from the ear, secretions from glands in the outer ear and everyday dust particles that we are all exposed to. Not very appealing admittedly, but it provides a very important purpose.
Ear wax shields the delicate ear canals from outside invaders, like dust, bacteria and micro-organisms that can irritate and inflame, or cause potentially damaging infections.
It also lubricates the ears, much like tears in the eyes, and prevents them from becoming dry and itchy.
Ears should be self-cleaning. The action of chewing and speaking helps wax move slowly from the eardrum to the ear opening where it will dry up and flake off.
However, this is not always the case.
Prodding down your ears with a cotton bud or such like will simply push wax back down the canal where it can become impacted and blocked, leading to a loss of hearing.
This can also lead to ear-ache, a feeling of fullness in the ear and tinnitus or ringing in the ears. It may also set up infections which can be painful and damaging.
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