Earwax is seen by many as being disgusting stuff that should never be spoken of. In fact, lots of people choose to try to rid their ears of it by using cotton buds and similar cosmetic instruments because they think that it is dirty and shouldn’t really be there. The thing is, though, that earwax is essential if you want to keep your ears as clean and pristine as possible – and removing it can actually cause damage.
Earwax, or cerumen, is made up of dead skin cells, cholesterol, naturally occurring alcohols, lysozyme enzyme, and fatty acids amongst other things. Most of the time it is really useful stuff, so unless it is causing hearing loss or pain (through an excessive build up, for example) it should ideally be left alone and not removed. If it does need to be removed, it should be done by a professional with the right tools because trying to do it oneself cam result in impacting the earwax, pushing it further into the ear, and damaging the eardrum which isn’t always repairable. The wax should work its own way out of the ear, and then be washed out and away in the shower or during a bath. It’s a great system.
Earwax’s main job is to protect the ear from foreign bodies than can easily enter it, since it is so open and vulnerable. The earwax literally catches the dust, bugs, germs, and bacteria before it can do any damage or cause an infection. Very clever! Earwax is also a useful thing when swimming or bathing since it stops too much water (usually) from entering the ear. Too much water irritates the ear canal and can lead to infection, which in turn causes hearing problems. So the more your earwax keeps out, the better your hearing will be.