Ear Wax and Ear Care

About Earwax

Earwax (medical term cerumen) is a normal secretion of the ear. It protects the skin of the ear canal, assists in cleaning and lubrication, and also provides some protection against bacteria, fungi, insects and water. Skin lining the ear canal naturally migrates from the centre of the ear drum to the outer ear and wax moves along with it, together with any debris it has collected. Factors such as age, diet, lifestyle, genetics and ethnicity can determine how much wax we produce and retain.

Earwax can become a cause of pain or hearing discomfort when it becomes impacted in the ear canal. The use of cotton buds, hair pins and in-ear headphones can contribute to the problem. Dry skin, narrow or distorted ear canals, the daily use of ear plugs or hearing aids can also cause impaction of ear wax.