why do we have earwax?

Earwax, also known as cerumen, serves several important purposes in the human ear:

  1. Protection: Earwax acts as a natural barrier, protecting the ear from dust, debris, and microorganisms that could potentially enter the ear canal and cause infection or damage to the eardrum.
  2. Moisturization: It helps to keep the skin of the ear canal moisturized, preventing dryness and irritation.
  3. Cleaning: Earwax contains chemicals that attract dead skin cells and dust, pulling them out of the ear canal. This assists in the natural cleaning process of the ears.
  4. Barrier to Water: Cerumen helps to prevent water from entering the ear canal, which could lead to infections or other issues.
  5. Regulation of Ear Pressure: Some theories suggest that earwax may help to regulate the pressure inside the ear canal, although this function is not fully understood.
  6. Sense of Balance: The earwax also helps to protect the structures involved in maintaining balance, which can be sensitive to vibrations and changes in pressure.

While earwax is a natural and necessary substance, an excessive buildup or blockage can cause issues such as hearing loss or pain. In such cases, medical intervention may be necessary to remove the excess wax. However, in most cases, earwax is naturally shed and removed from the ear canal without any need for intervention.

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