Did you know your ears have their own defense system? Healthline notes that the ear canals produce cerumen, probably better known to you as earwax. And it’s for a good reason — it helps protect against “dust, foreign particles, and microorganisms,” notes the source, adding it also protects the ear canals from water irritation.
Many people see removing earwax as a routine chore but the fact is, excess earwax can build up, blocking the ear canal which requires attention. Removing excess wax is a safe practice, as long as it’s done properly. Here are some things to know about it before you try removing earwax at home…
Why Remove Earwax?
Your ears usually cleanse themselves of wax “naturally through chewing and other jaw motions,” notes Healthline. But in some cases, the ear canals produce excess wax, which can lead to problems with hearing and more (which we’ll get to soon).
Meanwhile, there are cases to be made to leave the wax alone, counters Harvard Health Publishing. For example, “earwax is not a sign of poor hygiene” despite the “ick factor.” However, it does acknowledge that some people produce more than average amounts of earwax, especially among the older population. In some cases earwax can become “harder and drier than usual,” the source adds.