Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why does my body produce so much ear wax?"
I have a lot of ear wax that I always have to clean out and sometimes it gives me trouble hearing. Why does my body produce so much ear wax?
Ear wax is produced by specialized glands located in the skin lining the ear canal. Ear wax actually serves some important functions, keeping the external ear canal lubricated and protected from infection and dirt particles. The amount of ear wax that an individual produces is highly variable. Some people produce excessive amounts of ear wax. Although this is not a serious medical problem, it can lead to periodic blockage of the ear canal and decreased hearing. I would talk to your primary care doctor about this issue if you have not done so already. They can prescribe some wax softening drops for you that you can put into your ears on a daily basis. If used regularly, these drops should keep the ear wax from building up and causing trouble with your hearing. If you do develop blockage of the ear canal from wax, do not try to remove it yourself, as you could potentially damage the external ear canal or the ear drum. Rather, go see your primary care doctor, who will be able to remove the wax, either directly with a long thin tool designed for this purpose or by irrigating the ear with a warm liquid solution.
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