If you are experiencing a medical emergency please dial 911 immediately
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.
Last Revised: January 9, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.