Health Tip: What’s Ear Wax?

(HealthDay News) — Earwax (cerumen) is naturally made in the ear canal. It gradually travels to the opening of the ear, where it should fall out or be removed when you bathe, the Nemours Foundation says.

Sometimes, your ear makes too much of it. In some cases, the wax builds up in the ear, impairs hearing and must be removed from the ear by a medical professional.

Nemours notes the important role of ear wax:

  • It protects and moisturizes the skin, which helps prevent dry and itchy ears.
  • It contains special chemicals that fight off infection.
  • It acts as a shield for the eardrum, protecting it against dust, dirt and other foreign objects that enter the ear.