Does Earwax Serve A Purpose?

Let’s discuss the most fascinating part of the human body. On second thought, let’s talk about earwax instead.

earEarwax is something that most people would rather not talk about because, well, it’s gross. However, earwax also has many important functions.

Made mostly of skin cells that shed in our ears and secretions from glands in the outer ear canal, ear wax poses many benefits. Like eye lashes and nose hairs, earwax acts as a defender from outside invaders such as harmful bacteria that can potentially cause an infection. Earwax also serves as a lubricant for our ears; without it, our ears would become dry and itchy.

Lastly, earwax is self-cleaning. All attempts to rid your ears of earwax are unnecessary and potentially harmful. When you move your jaw, whether by talking or chewing, you are helping push earwax away from the eardrum to the ear opening where it will eventually fall out on its own. Any attempt to use a cotton swab to clean your ear could push wax further into your ear canal and result in hearing loss.

If you suspect that your ears are blocked by excess earwax, speak to your doctor about clearing it out. If you do not have a doctor, Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center has qualified Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors who can help. To make an appointment, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.