Ear Wax (cerumen) is produced in the outer ear by ceruminous glands (similar to sweat glans). This acts to trap dust, bacteria and foreign particles.
The nature of the ear wax varies in consistency and clolour. This is genetically determined. In general it is usually described as wet or dry.
The ear wax is usually expelled by the body. Often when we try to remove the ear wax with cotton buds or ‘ear diggers’, we may inadvertantly push the wax further in or cause micro scratches that may lead to ear infection.
When the wax gets trapped, it may accumulate to the extent that the ear canal is blocked resulting in a loss of hearing. Infection may also set in as the wax is a good medium for bacteria.
Ear wax can be softened by olive oil or commercially available ear solutions. The impacted wax can be removed by syringing or by the use of suction under the microscope. This is usually performed by the ENT specialists.