Saturday, February 27, 2010
Why do we have Wax in our Ears
Wax is deposited in our ear by special glands to prevent dust and similar foreign material from entering. The part of the ear that we can see as a projecting flap on the side of the head is called the auricle. Leading from it is a short tunnel, the external auditory meatus or earhole, which is closed at its inner end by a thin membrane called the eardrum, separating it from the inner ear.
This tunnel is lined with skin which, especially in men, carries hair and sebaceous glands, that is glands which produce an oily substance called sebum. The skin also contains specialized sweat glands (ceruminous glands) which secrete the brownish yellow wax.
Sometimes the glands secrete too much wax, and then it may collect in the external auditory meatus and deaden the hearing. As the ear is such a delicate instrument, the excess wax should be removed with a syringe by a doctor, although it can sometimes be softened by the application of warmed oil.