Ear nose throat specialist clinic

August 22, 2012

Ear Wax

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:11 am

Earwax, also known as cerumen, is a yellowish waxy material that is produced by the sebaceous gland in the ear canal inside the ear. Earwax lubricates, cleans and protects the lining of the ear canal by repelling water, trapping dirt and making sure insects, fungi and bacteria do not get through and harm the eardrum. The cerumen is slightly acidic and has antibacterial properties. If we had no earwax, the ear canal would become extremely dry, waterlogged and infected.

Earwax consists mainly of shed layers of skin - 60% of it is keratin, 12% to 20% is saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids, squalene and alcohols, and 6% to 9% is cholesterol.

When we are in a heightened state of fear or anxiety we produce more earwax.

There are two different types of earwax, which are determined by a person’s genetic type. Asians and Native Americans tend to have the dry, gray, flaky type of cerumen, while Europeans and Africans have the wet, honey-to-dark brown and moist type. Anthropologists examine earwax when tracking human migratory patterns.

Soft and hard earwax - children are more likely to have soft earwax. Earwax problems tend to be caused by the hard type.

Reference: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248934.php

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