Many people tend to identify the presence of wax or earwax in the ear as a symptom of poor hygiene. Moreover, there are many that more or less excessive tend to eliminate any presence of this substance of yellowish color and serous appearance. However, unlike what is mistakenly thought, did you know that it is very important? functions when it comes to protecting and taking care of our hearing in a totally natural way ?. But first we will discover what it is and why it is formed ...
The cerumen is produced in the external auditory canal, specifically in special glands that we find in the skin, in the outer third of the gelatinous part of it. It basically consists of a mixture of different secretions of viscous texture belonging to the sebaceous glands, as well as less viscous secretions belonging to the sweat glands.
Did you know that there are two types of wax or wax? On the one hand we find the cerumen dry, darker and brittle and less common. On the other hand, we find the most common: the wet type, which is characterized by having a sticky, damp and clear. However, white-skinned people and Africans tend to be more likely to have a wet-type earwax, while Native Americans and Asians tend to have dry-type earwax.
Once the wax or cerumen is produced by the gelatinous part of the glands present in the external auditory canal it tends to reach very slowly until the ear opens, where it falls when there is some excess or simply is eliminated naturally every time we shower or bathe. Moreover, we often make a mistake that can be very dangerous: it is not apropiate use ear swabs to remove the wax . Why? Very simple: if they are introduced into the ear canal they can cause traumatisms or lacerations that cause otitis, they can push the cerumen even deeper, or even in more serious cases cause the rupture of the eardrum.
What are the main functions of wax or cerumen?
Although you may think that cerumen is only a waste product produced by your ears, and that does not serve any purpose, the fact is that it is quite possible that you are surprised by the very important functions that carries out:
- Protective function : cerumen exerts an important antibacterial and antifungal action, helping to fight infections that could damage the skin inside the ear canal. In turn, it helps to 'catch' dust, dirt and other impurities, preventing them from moving further into the ear. In fact, cerumen forms part of our body's natural defenses.
- Lubricant function : cerumen provides lubricating properties due to its high lipid content, so it is very useful when it comes to preventing itching, drying and fur on the inside of the ear canal.
- Cleaning function : when the earwax moves slowly from the inside of the ear to the outside it helps to clean the ear canal, taking with it dust, dirt and any other matter that could have been embedded in the different walls of the canal.
As we see, if we take into account the three main functions carried out by cerumen, it is quite probable that from this moment you start to look at it in another way. Even more so if we take into account that it helps to protect our ears from bacteria, fungi, dust, dirt and other impurities coming from outside.