Removing the sticky, yellow substance that we refer to as earwax is definitely one of the most common hygiene practices but what if we told you that it is nothing but a huge misconception that earwax is dangerous to our precious ears in any way? Experts have listed out various benefits of ear wax which would convince you to leave it alone in your ears for good.
It shields the skin of ear canal and keeps it conditioned.
Earwax gets its gummy texture from the sweat, hair and dead skin cells that it is made up of and this texture is what helps in lubricating the soft skin of ear canal. This moisturizing substance keeps the ear moist and prevents it from getting dry and giving you an irritable itch in the ear.
Associate professor Ana H. Kim of Columbia University Medical Center states, “It keeps the outer ear canal skin moist, allowing for the skin cells to be healthy and enabling the cells to continue shedding skin debris”.
It bans the entry of debris in your ear.
The mucous physically traps any dirt, dust or other harmful substances hence preventing them from entering the ear canal and consequently in the ear drum. “We all have bacteria and fungi on the surface of our skin. If there is a break in the skin barrier, it’s an open door for these unwelcome intruders to invade into our body, resulting in infection, inflammation, itch, and pain,” Dr. Kim said.
It duals as an antibacterial and antifungal agent.
Noah S. SIegel, MD, board-certified otolaryngologist at Harvard Medical School confirms that earwax contains substances that fight against bacteria and fungi hence ensuring the health of your ears.
It is a self-cleanser.
The natural lubricant tends to drift out of the ear on its own at its own pace and mechanically removing it can actually work against your ear. The removal techniques such as using your finger tips or Q tips can further push the earwax into the eardrum, causing it to puncture and leading to permanent hearing loss eventually. Thus, as Kim puts it, “Leave nature alone. Your body is perfectly programmed to know what to do!”
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h/t: This Insider