You might think that earwax is just useless icky stuff that you have to constantly remove from your ears. But it’s a natural secretion that actually performs a number of functions. Earwax cleans, lubricates, and protects the lining of your ear, by trapping dirt and repelling water. Without it, the skin inside your ear may become dry, cracked, infected, or waterlogged and sore. But this newfound respect for your earwax shouldn’t prevent you from conducting a little ear maintenance every now and then. The wax should naturally migrate towards the opening of the ear canal, so you shouldn’t have to go ramming a cotton bud deep inside (until you reach the brain). However, every year in the UK, an estimated 2.3 million people have problems with excessive earwax, which can sometimes cause the ear canal to become blocked, leading to pain, or temporary hearing loss. In these cases, the earwax will need to be removed by a GP or specialist.
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