Earwax or cerumen, is the yellow waxy substance produced by the ear. It is produced primarily as a protection for the ear canal, acting as a protectant from dirt and other possibly harmful substances that may enter the ear. By trapping these foreign substances, earwax can help to prevent ear infections and the subsequent pain associated with the said infection. Earwax is also shown to provide lubrication to the ear and can help to keep the ear clean.
While earwax is shown to have a beneficial role in the ear, mainly to help to clean and prevent ear infections, the amount produced by people can vary as much as skin or hair color. Some people produce a large amount of earwax while others do not. When earwax stays in the ear for an extended period, it may harden and clump together. This clumping may eventually cause an ear blockage, eventually causing loss of hearing. It has been shown that one of the most common causes of ear blockage is the improper use of ear swabs. By using ear swabs incorrectly, a person runs the risk of pushing wax deeper into the ear canal, eventually causing a blockage.
One of the most common treatments for buildup of earwax is to use eardrops specifically formulated to combat earwax. These formulas are made of oils and other ingredients that target hardened earwax, aiming to soften it while cleaning out the ear. Through this softening, the excess earwax buildup in the ear can be easily removed, helping to relieve the ear pain or hearing loss that may be associated with the excess buildup of ear wax. These ear drops may also serve as a natural and safer alternative to using ear swabs, which are known to be a cause of earwax blockage.