Didn’t think so. Because it’s not the best conversation-starter on earth, we’ve gone ahead and compiled this straightforward guide to ear care (and spared everyone the awkwardness).
We know it when we see it, but for many of us ear wax remains one of life’s curiosities. Could it be a glandular secretion? Is it just a build-up of external muck? Or do we actually make this stuff for some purpose? The answer is: all of the above. Also known as cerumen, this waxy goo protects the ear canal from bacteria, water and insects, and helps clean and lubricate all the inside bits. Grey, orange, yellow, or even black, it may not look appealing, but ear wax is actually pretty useful.
Problems arise when we produce too much wax, or when it gets impacted. And when excess wax goes untreated, it can lead to earache, itching, tinnitus, dizziness and even hearing loss. The known causes of increased ear wax are pretty murky. Fortunately, our natural jaw movements take care of most of the ear cleaning without any need for intervention. But when our bodies need a bit of maintenance support, there are a range of treatments that are simple, quick and effective. Here’s a rundown of the pros, cons and misconceptions of a range of ear-care methods for when you’re dealing with wax build-up.