Trivia of the Day for Friday

Why does your ear produce ear wax?

 

The answer is courtesy of The American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery website:

“Cerumen or earwax is healthy in normal amounts and serves as a self-cleaning agent with protective, lubricating, and antibacterial properties. The absence of earwax may result in dry, itchy ears. Most of the time the ear canals are self-cleaning; that is, there is a slow and orderly migration of earwax and skin cells from the eardrum to the ear opening.

“Old earwax is constantly being transported, assisted by chewing and jaw motion, from the ear canal to the ear opening where it usually dries, flakes, and falls out,” the website states.

Earwax isn’t usually a problem, by the way.

“Earwax is not formed in the deep part of the ear canal near the eardrum, but in the outer one-third of the ear canal. So when a patient has wax blockage against the eardrum, it is often because he has been probing the ear with such things as cotton-tipped applicators, bobby pins, or twisted napkin corners. These objects only push the wax in deeper.”

 

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