- Earwax is essential because it protects and moisturizes your ears. But too much of it can cause problems.
- While ears generally do a good job of self-cleaning, earwax removal can be necessary in certain cases.
- Earwax buildup and blockage can impede your life, so it’s important to know how to recognize the symptoms.
Earwax, also called cerumen, is generally a good thing. In fact, it plays an important role in keeping our ears healthy. “Without earwax, the ears would be dry, itchy, and prone to infection,” according to Medical News Today. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
While many people don’t need to remove earwax — ears are typically self-cleaning — removing earwax buildup can help with hearing problems and earaches. But before you attempt to remove earwax at home, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here’s what you need to know about earwax buildup and blockage.
Why Do Ears Make Earwax?
Earwax is a waxy oil naturally made by the body to protect your ears. According to the Cleveland Clinic, earwax has “lubricating and antibacterial properties.” So, it helps prevent dry, itchy ears. And it protects your ears from dirt, dust, bugs, and other foreign particles.
Typically, “excess wax finds its way out of the canal and into the ear opening naturally, and then is washed away,” according to Healthline. But sometimes ears make more earwax than necessary. Earwax can build up and eventually lead to a blockage when that happens.