You may have heard that drinking milk causes your body to make more ear wax, but is this true?

There can be many factors that can affect ear wax production ranging from genetics to dietary as well as environmental. If you experience an increase in ear wax production then maybe one of these thing is affecting you too. Determining the root cause can take some time, but there are a couple places to start looking including your dairy intake.

Does milk cause ear wax?

Ear wax is made partially of skin cells from the ear canal. This area contains skin that is always renewing itself. Ear wax also consists of secretions from two glands — specifically, the ceruminous and the sebaceous glands. The ceruminous gland is a modified sweat gland (or apocrine gland) that rests just outside the auditory canal. The sebaceous glands excrete oil that helps lubricate the skin. As dead cells drop off, they mix with these secretions to produce ear wax. 

Ear wax production is not caused by ingesting milk, however some dieticians have noted a link between milk and ear wax, but mostly for people who are lactose intolerant. Most people know if they are sensitive to dairy products, but if you don’t and you’re experiencing lots of ear wax buildup and also eat lots of dairy it’s worth experimenting with removing dairy for a few weeks and see what the effects are. Interestingly, for some people, milk alternatives including soy milk and almond milk can also trigger ear wax production—if you have this issue it’s best to consult with a dietician to evaluate your diet to find the underlying cause.

Where is milk and ear wax secreted from?

Apocrine glands are a type of gland that is found in the skin, breast, eyelid, and ear. Apocrine glands in the breast secrete fat droplets into breast milk and those in the ear help form ear wax. Apocrine glands in the skin and eyelid are sweat glands. Apocrine glands in the skin and eyelid are sweat glands. So milk and ear wax are secreted from similar types of glands, but they are not linked in anyway.

What increases the production of ear wax?

Many thing can affect the production of ear wax, so it can be difficult to pinpoint what exactly might be the cause. Many people are genetically predisposed to produce excess ear wax. Other causes can include sensitivity to contact stimuli such as hearing aids or in-ear headphones. For most people the main cause of excessive ear wax production is an unhealthy and unbalanced diet, which could include a range of foods like gluten, caffeine, or dairy. Maintaining a balance of essential nutrients and moderating your intake of snacks can improve your overall health and also should reduce the amount of excessive ear wax produced.

So ultimately, it can take a while to determine exactly what causes increased ear wax production. There are a number of dietary factors that can trigger excessive ear wax production. If your symptoms are not severe then you can experiment with your diet and hopefully make some improvement. If you are experiencing extreme symptoms then see a doctor, or dietician, and seek professional advice. In the meantime clean out your ear wax build up with a digital otoscope from ScopeAround—the safest way to remove ear wax from your ears.

Should you clean your ears?

The reason we feel tempted to clean our ears is often because of a substance called cerumen, commonly referred to as ear wax. It’s normal for your body to produce ear wax, and it actually helps protect and lubricate your ears. If you didn’t have ear wax, your ears would probably be itchy and dry. Ear wax even has antibacterial properties, which means your ears are self-cleaning. Ear wax is like a filter for your ears, keeping out harmful things like dirt and dust, and trapping them so they don’t go deep inside. However, if it does build up inside your ear canal, especially if it clogs the canal, then you should clean it out, but how often should you clean your ears? That depends on your genetics, your diet, and the environment you live in. 

Shop ScopeAround Otoscopes Today

If you frequently have irritated ears or ear wax build-up then it might be a good idea to buy an ear wax removal camera. A home ear cleaning camera or otoscope can tell how often should you remove ear wax. ScopeAround was the first company to make an ear inspection camera for consumer use and they have the most experience and customer feedback manufacturing these devices. ScopeAround makes ear cleaning cameras that are stand-alone devices as well as ones that are compatible with iPhone (iOS) and Android mobile devices as well as PC (Windows) or Mac (OSX) computers. Shop ScopeAround Today!


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