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10 Fun Facts About Ear Wax!

Earwax, otherwise known medically as cerumen, is found in the ear canals of all humans and other mammals. It is a coloured substance secreted within the ear canals via normal human bodily processes. Earwax serves many purposes, it protects the skin of the ear canal, helps clean and lubricate the canals, and provides protection against bacteria, fungus, and other substances. However, earwax should be removed when it causes hearing loss, itching, pain, tinnitus, or an obstructed assessment of the auditory canal, eardrum, or audio-vestibular system.

Here are a few fun facts about ear wax:

  1. Ear wax is not actually wax. It consists of dead skin cells and secretions from the ceruminous and sebaceous glands located in the ear canals.
  2. Ear wax can be all different colours ranging from brown, orange, red, yellow, or grey.
  3. Ear wax comes in different forms, wet and dry. The type of earwax each person has is dependent on genetics, which helps anthropologists track the migration of different cultures.
  4. Ear wax is naturally expelled from the ear canal due to a self-cleaning mechanism assisted by movements of the mouth and jaw.
  5. The organic composition of earwax consists of fatty acids, squalene, alcohol, and cholesterol mixed with dead skin cells.
  6. Ear wax is naturally microbial and prevents the start of bacterial infections.
  7. Ear wax is a natural bug repellent, keeping bugs away from wanting to go into the ear canals.
  8. Ear wax helps keep the ear canals clean. Dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria get stuck in earwax. As the earwax moves out of the ear canal, so does all the collected dirt and debris.
  9. Ear wax acts as a natural lubricant. The smooth texture keeps our ears lubricated to prevent itchiness and dryness.
  10. Ear wax can cause hearing loss when a build up occurs. It can also cause symptoms such as dizziness, fullness, earaches, and tinnitus. It’s important if you experience any of these symptoms to see a professional immediately!

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