Showing posts from April, 2020

The Wax We Packs

Today I will engage in a Q & A regarding the fascinating world of earwax. We in the audiology world call it "cerumen". Enjoy! Q: What is cerumen? A: Per Okuda et al.(1991): " Earwax is a mixture of desquamated keratinocytes and hair combined with the secretions of both the ceruminous and the sebaceous glands of the external ear canal... The major organic components of earwax identified were long chain fatty acids, both saturated and unsaturated, alcohols, squalene and cholesterol." Layman's terms: the wax and oil producing glands within the skin of the outer 1/3 of the human ear canal put out secretions that mix with dead skin cells. It is made of saturated and unsaturated fats, alcohols, cholesterol, and a naturally existing moisturizer present in our skin. Additionally, it is hydrophobic which means that it repels water and other fluids. Q: Is cerumen dirty? A: Cerumen is like any other mucous in your body - it is present to protect. It keeps the