Like the rest of the human body, the ear is a sophisticated system. Our ears clean themselves using cerumen, otherwise known as earwax, which is secreted by glands in the auditory canal, traps small particles such as dirt and dust, and removes them from the ear. But that’s not all it does: it also keeps the skin of the auditory canal smooth and supple, preserves the acid mantle, and thereby helps prevent infections and inflammations. Earwax is therefore extremely useful and plays an important role in protecting and looking after our ears.
Sometimes, though, we want our ears to be completely clean, so we try to remove the earwax. Many people instinctively reach for the cotton bud, but that really isn’t a good idea – not only is there a risk of pushing earwax further inside the ear, it can also damage the ear. Instead, you should clean your ears with a flannel or an ear spray that gently breaks down and removes the cerumen.
Some people suffer from excess cerumen build-up in the ear. If this applies to you, we recommend that you visit an ear specialist every three to six months to get your auditory canal checked. If there is too much earwax in your auditory canal, the specialist can clean your ears professionally and safely to help you avoid blockages which can, if left untreated, impair your long-term hearing.