In this blog post, we’ll answer the questions what is ear wax and where does it come from?

Just about every child, and some adults, has asked, “where does ear wax come from?”

One of the best reasons to perform an at-home ear examination or ear cleaning is because of a substance called cerumen, commonly called earwax. It’s normal for your body to produce it, and it actually helps protect and lubricate your ears. If you didn’t have earwax, your ears would probably be itchy and dry.

Earwax even has antibacterial properties, which means your ears are self-cleaning. Earwax 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. Digital otoscopes are the perfect tool to perform at-home ear examinations and ear cleaning.

What is ear wax?

If you’ve wondered what is ear wax and where does it come from you are not alone. The reality is  earwax is made partially of skin cells from the ear the canal. This area contains skin that is always renewing itself.

Earwax also consists of secretions from two glands — specifically, the ceruminous and the sebaceous glands. The ceruminous gland is a sweat 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 earwax.

Where is ear wax produced? Where is ear wax secreted from?

Where does wax come from in your ear? Where is ear wax secreted from? The simple answer is in your ear near the auditory canal. A more detailed answer is it’s a combination of skin cells that slough off in your ear canal and secretions from your ceruminous and the sebaceous glands. As skin cells are shed, they mix with these secretions to produce earwax.

Should you clean your ears?

It’s important to note that most people never need to clean their ears. Ears are actually designed to clean themselves. Earwax buildup and blockage can happen when people use items like cotton swabs (see "Are Q Tips Bad For Your Ears?") or bobby pins to try to clean their ears. This only pushes the earwax farther into the ears and can also cause injury to the ear.

Ear wax in your ear canal might not bother you at all, but if it builds up it can become itchy and irritating (see "Why Is It That My Ears Are Itchy?"). If it builds up so much that it clogs the ear canal this can lead to more symptoms. We say that earwax is impacted when it has built up in the ear canal to such a point that you can’t see the ear drum anymore and your hearing has deteriorated. There may be other symptoms including dizziness, tinnitus, pain or discharge. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should consider going to a doctor, but it may be a good idea to clean your ears regularly to prevent your ear wax from becoming clogged again in the future.

Shop ScopeAround Otoscopes Today

ScopeAround brought the first digital otoscope for consumers to the market over five years ago so they have more experience and customer feedback to make the best digital otoscopes available. ScopeAround makes a complete range of otoscope camera products including free-standing models to USB-connected, Lightning cable-connected, and WiFi-connected devices with an otoscope camera app for your mobile device. 


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