One time when I was much younger, I had a cotton stub stuck in my ears. I was using a cotton bud to clean my ears or so I thought. I remember the angry nurse who took me to see the doctor asking me: “Miss over-clean, Why were you cleaning your ears? Earwax is good for your ears, so stop doing so much to get rid of it…”
I was angry that she was angry even when I didn’t know why she was angry. I didn’t even think she was that qualified, who says it’s alright to leave your earwax…
Imagine my surprise when I figured she was right some years later.
Earwax is a wax produced by the body inside the ear, slightly thick and brown. It is to protect and clean the ears. The earwax does the job of collecting dust, dirt and other things, preventing them from going further down into the ear.
Most people think that the presence of earwax in your ears is unhealthy. In fact, I remember some of my female friends in primary school who were specialists in looking into people’s ears. They would call you dirty boy/girl (as the case maybe). They would even volunteer to bring in cotton stubs from home the next day to help you. Thankfully, I was never really their test subject (I was not the friendly type).
This and many other misconceptions are the genesis of unhealthy ear habits. Below are a few facts you should know about earwax…
- Production of earwax in the ear is a deliberate process by the ears to clean and protect it. Earwax contains some anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It also is sticky, making it easier to trap all the dirt that comes its way.
- Normally, as new earwax is being produced, the old earwax is being pushed out to the ear surface. It eventually falls off. The ear produces just the right amount and is very capable of continually taking care of the old wax to avoid build-ups.
- Regularly cleaning with cotton swabs or whatever is a very common cause of earwax buildup! It stimulates the ear to produce more wax. Asides this, the wax ends up being pushed further by these cleaning tools and can cause irritation, infection or even an injury. Anything that can fit into the ear is capable of causing harm to the ear.
- Your ears don’t need any cleaning from outside. They are very capable of taking care of themselves. the normal movement of your face from time to time and the small water that trickles past your ear surface is enough to take care of any visible one. If you must clean, make sure you just clean the surface. Stay away from the ear canal.
- The smell, color and consistency of ear wax varies from person to person. Unless, the earwax is causing difficulty in hearing or has a foul smell, all is well. Feel free to see your doctor if you notice anything worthy of note…
I hope this helps you!