Earwax is a naturally produced secretion that protects the ear canal. It is a mixture of skin, sweat, hair, and debris (such as shampoo and dirt) held together with a fluid secreted by glands inside the ear canal (ceruminous glands).
The ear canals are self-cleaning. Earwax helps filter dust and keep the ears clean and is usually eliminated from the ear naturally. Normally, earwax is a self-draining liquid that does not cause problems.
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as ofJune 4, 2014
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise