AcademiaAgriculture & FarmingHumanitiesSocial SciencesSTEM

Earwax: Facts, Functions, and Health Problems

Updated on March 10, 2017
AliciaC profile image

Linda Crampton is a teacher with a first class honors degree in biology. She writes about human biology and the scientific basis of disease.

Tugging at the ear could indicate a problem with earwax.
Tugging at the ear could indicate a problem with earwax. | Source

A Protective Secretion

Earwax doesn't usually get much respect. In fact, it's often considered to be a somewhat disgusting secretion. It's actually a very useful substance and helps to keep our ears healthy.

Earwax coats the skin lining the ear canal and carries dirt, hair, dead cells, and other debris out of the canal. It also kills microorganisms. By doing these jobs, the wax helps to protect the eardrum from injury. The eardrum lies at the end of the ear canal and plays an important role in our ability to hear.

Normally, earwax does its jobs invisibly and very well. Sometimes, however, the ear makes too much wax. If this becomes trapped inside the ear canal, it may form a plug known as an impaction. An impaction can be painful and can interfere with hearing. Fortunately, there are several ways to remove trapped earwax.

Anatomy of the ear
Anatomy of the ear | Source

Parts of the Ear

The human ear consists of three parts. The visible part, which is usually called "the ear" by most people, is actually only a small section of the organ.

  1. The outer ear consists of the visible ear flap at the side of the head, which is known as the pinna or auricle, and the auditory canal, which is also known as the ear canal. The ear canal transports sound waves to the middle ear.
  2. The middle ear begins at the eardrum. The eardrum is a membrane that is connected to three tiny bones known as ossicles. These little bones are the malleus (or hammer), the incus (anvil) and the stapes (stirrup). Sound waves from the outer ear cause the eardrum to vibrate. The eardrum sends the vibrations to the ossicles.
  3. The inner ear contains the cochlea, or organ of hearing, as well as the semicircular canals, which play a role in balance. The vibrating stapes causes a membranous window in the wall of the cochlea to vibrate. This in turn causes the fluid inside the cochlea to vibrate. The vibrating fluid stimulates hair cells, which trigger the auditory nerve to send a message to the brain. The brain then creates the sensation of hearing.

How the Ear Works

Glands of the Auditory Canal

The skin that lines the ear canal contains both sebaceous glands and ceruminous glands, which produce secretions that combine to make earwax. The scientific name for earwax is cerumen.

Sebaceous glands are also found in the skin that covers the body surface, apart from the skin on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. The glands produce an oily secretion that waterproofs skin and protects it from bacteria and fungi. The ceruminous glands are specialized sweat glands. They produce a waxy secretion.

The pinna and the entrance to the auditory or ear canal in a baby
The pinna and the entrance to the auditory or ear canal in a baby | Source

Types of Earwax

It may be surprising to learn that not everyone's earwax looks the same. There are two types of earwax in humans—wet and dry. The wet type is golden or brown in color and is moist and sticky. The dry kind is light grey, white, or pale tan in color and has a flaky texture.

The appearance of earwax is genetically determined. People with a European or African background tend to have wet wax, while people with an Asian or Native American background tend to have dry wax.

Sometimes the earwax of older people becomes drier. In addition, their ears may become less effective at shedding wax than when they were younger, which causes the secretion to collect in the auditory canal.

Dry earwax; the cotton swab is used to provide scale
Dry earwax; the cotton swab is used to provide scale | Source

Earwax Type and Body Odor

Although it sounds like a strange idea, the type of earwax produced by a person is linked to whether or not they have smelly armpits. Researchers have found that people with wet wax are very likely to produce underarm odor, while those with dry wax are very unlikely to produce underarm odor.

Eccrine and Apocrine Sweat Glands

The sweat glands over most of our skin are called eccrine glands. They produce a watery sweat that contains salt and is odorless. This sweat evaporates to cool us down.

Under the arms we have a different type of sweat gland—the apocrine gland. This produces a sweat containing fats and proteins. Bacteria on the skin break these substances down to make smelly chemicals. Apocrine glands exist on other parts of the body, but the ones under our arms are the greatest contributor to body odor.

The ABCC11 Gene and Apocrine Glands

The ceruminous glands in the ear canal are a type of apocrine gland. Scientists know that a variant of a gene known as ABCC11 is responsible for both dry earwax and lack of armpit odor. The possession of two copies of the gene variant affects the action of apocrine glands in both the ear canal and the armpit. The mechanism by which the effects are produced is still being studied.

Some people may be using deodorant when they don't need to.
Some people may be using deodorant when they don't need to. | Source

Dominant and Recessive Alleles

Different variants or versions of a gene are technically known as alleles. Two alleles of the ABCC11 gene control earwax type and body odor. The ABCC11 allele that produces wet wax and smelly armpits is dominant, while the allele that produces dry wax and odorless armpits is recessive. Dominant alleles always do their job (at the appropriate time and location); recessive alleles can only do their job when no dominant allele is present.

We have two copies of the ABCC11 gene in our cells. One came from our mother and the other came from our father. If both are the dominant allele, or if one is the dominant allele and the other is the recessive allele, we will have wet earwax and underarm odor. If both are the recessive allele we will have dry earwax and no underarm odor.

Wet earwax on a cotton swab; it's not a good idea to stick a cotton swab into an ear
Wet earwax on a cotton swab; it's not a good idea to stick a cotton swab into an ear | Source

Functions of Earwax

The job of earwax is to clean the ear canal, sweeping away dirt, microorganisms, hairs, and dead skin cells shed by the lining of the canal. Earwax keeps the environment in the ear canal acidic, which seems to be necessary for a healthy ear.

Earwax also lubricates the ear canal, which stops it from drying out. The lubrication not only prevents the ear from become itchy but also stops tiny cracks and crevices from forming on the wall of the canal. These crevices can easily trap bacteria, which could lead to an infection.

Too much wax can block the ear canal, but too little can also be harmful. It increases the chance of infections and causes the ear canal to itch.

A hearing aid can prevent earwax from leaving the ear and cause it to collect inside the ear canal or the hearing aid.
A hearing aid can prevent earwax from leaving the ear and cause it to collect inside the ear canal or the hearing aid. | Source

The Ear Canal's Self-Cleaning Mechanism

Normally, the movement of the jaw during speaking and eating helps to push earwax along the ear canal to its entrance. Here the wax dries into small pieces or flakes, which are shed. For most people, cleaning the inside of the pinna and the entrance to the ear canal is enough to remove the pieces of wax. The ear canal itself should be left alone, unless a person is following medical advice.

Sometimes the body's natural method of wax removal isn't successful and help is needed. If wax can't escape from the ear canal it may form a clump that blocks the canal. In this condition it's said to be impacted. Impaction can develop if the ear canal is crooked or if a hearing aid or ear plug covers the canal, for example. Some people produce more earwax than others, which may increase the risk of blockages.

A Doctor Removes Impacted Earwax

Possible Symptoms of Impacted Earwax

There are several possible symptoms of impacted wax in the ear canal. They can also be symptoms of other problems, such as an ear infection. Hearing loss can be caused by wax blocking the ear canal, but it can also be caused by a perforated eardrum, an inner ear problem, or an auditory nerve problem.

Symptoms of impacted earwax may include:

  • hearing loss
  • ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • a sense of fullness in the ears
  • ear pain
  • an itchy sensation in the ear
  • dizziness

When unusual or unpleasant symptoms develop in the ear, it's important to visit a doctor to get a diagnosis. If hearing loss is sudden or if one of the symptoms is loss of balance, a fever, or vomiting, the affected person should go to a hospital right away instead of waiting for a doctor's appointment.

A hearing problem may be due to impacted earwax.
A hearing problem may be due to impacted earwax. | Source

Cleaning the Auditory Canal

Cleaning the ear canal should be done by a medical professional or by following his or her instructions. Doctors have special tools to clear wax and debris from the ear canal. In addition, they have the skill and experience needed to remove impacted wax safely.

Once the ear is examined and a diagnosis is made, the doctor may say that self-treatment for a problem is okay. The doctor may also be able to suggest ways to prevent the wax buildup from happening again.

Doctors often recommend that a person uses oil or water based ear drops to soften their earwax. Wax softening products are known as cerumenolytics. They mustn't be used if the eardrum is perforated, however. Doctors may also suggest that softened earwax is washed out with a special solution applied with a rubber-bulb syringe or other device. Once again, this mustn't be done if there is a hole in the eardrum. Liquids that enter the middle ear may cause a serious infection.

It's especially important that nothing hard is inserted into the ear canal, not even a Q tip or other cotton swab (or cotton bud). Hard objects that enter the canal may scrape and injure its wall. Earwax usually forms in the outer third of the ear canal, but a cotton swab may push the wax further into the canal and cause it to become more compact. In addition, the wax plug may jam against the eardrum and damage it, or the object placed in the ear may injure the eardrum by itself.

A cotton swab or cotton bud should never be put in the ear canal.
A cotton swab or cotton bud should never be put in the ear canal. | Source

Ear Candling

Some alternate medicine practitioners promote ear candling as a method for removing earwax. Health agencies say that there is no evidence that this process is effective and that it's potentially dangerous.

The "candle" is a hollow cone or tube made of waxed cloth or cloth that has been soaked in paraffin. It's usually about ten inches long. The tapered end of the candle is inserted into the ear and the other end is lit. The heat from the burning candle supposedly creates a negative pressure or suction that draws wax out of the ear. Ear candling is said to help a range of health problems in addition to the buildup of earwax.

Researchers say that the residue that forms on burning ear candles comes from the candle material and isn't earwax. They also say that candles can:

  • burn the face or ear
  • block the ear canal with candle wax
  • push earwax further into the ear canal
  • puncture the ear drum
  • delay potentially effective treatments for a health problem

This is one of my cats. I haven't yet tried to see if he likes the taste of human earwax.
This is one of my cats. I haven't yet tried to see if he likes the taste of human earwax. | Source

Some More Interesting Earwax Facts

  • The long wax plugs in whale ears show dark and light layers that correspond to different feeding seasons. They've been used to indicate the age of dead whales.
  • Analyzing the earwax of a dead blue whale can indicate what pollutants it was exposed to during its lifetime and determine when the production of certain hormones peaked in its body.
  • Earwax was sometimes added to the paints used to illustrate medieval manuscripts.
  • Same cat owners report that their pet loves the taste of human earwax.

References

© 2013 Linda Crampton

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Really fascinating hub here, very comprehensive! I know that using a Q-tip is bad, and they really should make sure they advertise to not use it down into the ear canal. I have used hydrogen peroxide (a capful) poured into my ears and it seems to work, but not real sure after reading about the liquid, may be not good to do so? That is interesting about the underarm odor being related to ear wax.

      Up and more and sharing (well, it is saying whoops on Pinterest, etc., will return)

      Have a great weekend,

      Faith Reaper

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Faith. Thanks for commenting so soon after this hub was published! Hydrogen peroxide ear drops or diluted hydrogen peroxide are both used to soften ear wax. It's probably a good idea to get a doctor to look at the ear first to make sure that it's okay to use the drops, though.

      Thank you very much for the votes and the share, Faith. I hope the weekend ahead is a great one for you, too.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Ear wax is a big problem for me. I have to keep my ears clean often,

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very thorough information and good advice Alicia. It's probably a subject most people would rather just ignore, but the ears are an important but delicate part of the body and should be looked after. I have had a build up of ear wax at one stage and had to have it removed by a doctor, so I know what it's like. I had no idea about the connection between the type of ear wax and body odor however. Good interesting hub.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Earwax - Facts, Functions and Health Problems I learned so much about the ear from this hub. Never put a cotton bud in the ear, it is dangerous but I guess with proper care it should be okay? An informative, useful and most helpful hub on his topic. Voted up, useful interesting

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Wow, I never knew there was so much too ear wax! What an educational and informational article. I have had ringing in my ear for the past six months since my gallbladder surgery. I don't know if there is a correlation. I've been to the doctor and had my ears checked. They said nothing is wrong. I have bad allergies though so that might be contributing to it.

      When I was a child, I used to get really painful swimmer's ear after swimming in a pool during the summer. I remember the pediatrician taking a metal pick like object and getting in my ear deep with that thing. Oh, I can still feel the dreaded pain when I think about it.

      Fortunately my own children have had no problems with their ears at all.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan

      Useful Hub, I didn't know about the risks or dangers of ear wax. I always thought that it just obscured hearing, if not cleaned out properly.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Thanks for not being gross! I have had ear impactions and believe me, they are not fun. Thankfully, I haven't had one in many years now. I hope I never have to have a hearing aid.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This was never really a factor in my life until I started getting into my fifties; now I am fully aware that ear wax exists. LOL Thanks for the information; I loved your first sentence.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the visit, Martin. I'm sorry about your ear wax problem. It must be annoying!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Jodah. Yes, the ears should be looked after. As you say, they are very important! Ears that don't work properly interfere with life.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment and the votes, DDE! A cotton bud could be used to clean the pinna, but health experts say that it should never be put into the ear canal.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Crafty. Thanks for the visit. Ringing in the ears can be annoying. I know from personal experience! I've had tinnitus for a very long time. Luckily, I'm used to it and usually forget about it, until something draws my attention to the ringing, like reading about it or talking about it. Good luck with your tinnitus. I hope you find a solution.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, Hezekiah. I appreciate your visit.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm sorry about your ear impactions, Austinstar. They sound very unpleasant! In a way, though, I wish I had an ear wax problem that was responsible for my loss of hearing. I have sensorineural hearing loss. If ear wax was responsible for my hearing problem, at least it could be treated.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Bill. As always, thanks for the visit and the comment. It's sad when ear wax problems increase as we get older!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      Never thought, Alicia, that I would read an entire article, word for word, about ear wax. So I appreciate your making this information so palatable and interesting. Your ear wax facts were illuminating to say the least. :)

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, drbj. Ear wax may seem like a strange topic to write about, but I find it fascinating! It's a more important topic than some people realize, too.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I certainly learned a lot here at this hub. I did not know, for instance, that the ear is related to smelly armpits- I had no idea there was a connection between those two areas! Very informative.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Christy. It is a surprising connection! I think it's an interesting one, too. Genetics as a whole is a fascinating topic. Thanks for the comment.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 3 years ago from Minnesota

      What a informative hub on ear wax. I've had to go to the doctor to get my ears cleaned because of compacted wax. Loved the FYI on earwax and under arm odor. Hit many buttons and voted up.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment and all the votes, Minnetonka Twin! No one in my immediate family has needed to get ear wax removed. I guess we don't make much wax!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Another fascinating hub Linda. Very interesting that the type of ear wax we have is related to underarm odor. Who knew? You always amaze me with your knowledge. I wonder if dogs like the taste of ear wax also? Our dog seems to like licking peoples ears.

      Great job. Voted up, shared, etc... Have a great weekend.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 3 years ago from USA

      An interesting hub, just the other day my dad told me he noticed an increase in ear wax, and was curious to learn more about it. Yuck, ear wax was added to the paints used to illustrate medieval manuscripts! Not sure I would want one of those paintings!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Bill. Thanks for the comment, the vote and the share. As always, I appreciate your visit. It would be interesting to know whether dogs like the taste of human ear wax too! I hope the rest of the weekend is enjoyable for you.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, alexadry. Yes, the idea of collecting ear wax and then using it in paintings is yucky! I suppose the painters of the time were happy, though! Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Well who knew about the earwax and the body smell? great info! and really useful for everybody who has blocked ears or just needs to know about this subject, a bit a a Ew second with the cat info! lol!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Nell. Yes, ear wax is interesting, but learning about it does involve some "Eww" moments! Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your visit.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      This was a fascinating read. I didn't realize there were two different kinds and how they are linked to a person's origin. Interesting that armpit odor can indicate the type of wax one has.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the visit and the comment, Dianna. Ear wax and its background are very interesting topics!

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 3 years ago from United States

      Now I understand why there's an earwax. Like the "pickings" from the nose, the earwax also serves to clean our ears. I have a dry earwax, and regularly clean my ears. Whenever I hear a "crackling" sound whenever I clean my ears I quite get excited (of sorts) of the chances of "fishing out" a larger earwax (and it often happens). Hahaha.

      But cleaning my ears is quite a relaxing activity. Thanks for the info about the other ways (as well as the proper ways) of cleaning ears.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, FullOfLoveSites. I've never heard anyone say that they find cleaning their ears relaxing before! Thank you very much for the comment.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

      Very informative hub Alicia,taught me some very important details that i wasn't aware of,thanks for sharing!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks, Mike. I appreciate your comment.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Very interesting. I have too little wax and very sensitive inner ears I suppose because of it. Itchy, lol. It is really irritating of older men to let this prevent them from hearing. lol

      Don't know how I relate according to body odor but I found an absolutely fabulous natural home-made deodorant from one of my 'hugs', the one from Hawaii and I will never worry about odor or buying deodorant again, you should check it out. I have used it for weeks now and there are no words to build it up enough.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Jackie. Thanks for the visit and the comment. I'm sorry about your itchy ears! The information about the deodorant sounds very interesting. I'll check it out.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Wow! Everything I ever wanted to know about earwax and more- all right here :) I can remember having needed ear lavage as a child for impaction, now all is fine. Quite interesting research re. wax type and ethnicity as well as relationships to sweat glands and B.O. tendencies. This is a very informative piece- thank you!

      Cat :)

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, Cat! I appreciate your visit. It's interesting to read about other people's experiences with impacted ear wax, since I've never had this problem myself.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      So informative and fascinating, as always. You always seem to find the best topics to keep me interested!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much, Deb. I appreciate all your visits and comments!

    • profile image

      ignugent17 3 years ago

      Thanks for your information. I know it has a use in some ways :-). I remember my classmate in elementary that his mother would really clean his ears . We tease him because of the baby oil hi mother puts and makes it look shiny.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, ignugent17. Thanks for the comment and for sharing the interesting story!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      I didn't know that ear wax could be so interesting!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Audrey. I appreciate the comment!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      This was fascinating. I had no idea that the type of earwax you produce is determined by your genes.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, ologsinquito. I appreciate your visit and comment.

    • quizbomb profile image

      quizbomb 3 years ago from Lancashire, United Kingdom

      Wow, you're putting me to shame with my own hubs - that was excellent and I think you covered the topic thoroughly. I never knew there were different types of ear wax let alone based on genetics - Very interesting, thanks :)

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the kind comment, quizbomb! It's nice to meet you.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Had to come back and read this article as I've been having ear issues as of late. I think part of it is allergies and part of it is wax build up. You did an amazing job on this informative article. Sharing-Voted Up and hit many buttons.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the return visit, Linda! I appreciate the share and all the votes, too. I hope your ear issues are resolved soon.

    • wabash annie profile image

      wabash annie 2 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      An excellent article!! I bookmark those I want to reread but that list is now so very long. You have written about so many informative and/or interesting topics ... I must read them thoroughly when I first see them.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment, wabash annie! I appreciate it very much.

    • profile image

      Jazley 2 years ago

      I have one ear that's always so itchy inside and im always scratching it. But with my other ear its the outside of it and Ive scratched it to bleeding a lot and it looks really terrible and embarrassing. What should I do? My mom knows but wont do anything.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm very sorry about your problem, Jazley, but since I'm not a doctor I can't help you. I suggest that you have a serious talk with your mom, explaining how bad the problem is and asking her to either make a doctor's appointment for you or take you to a medical clinic. Good luck.

    • Judy Filarecki profile image

      Judy Filarecki 2 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      Very fascinating. I used to have a lot of wet ear wax just like my father. One day my doctor who believe in a lot of alternative things, told me that excessive ear wax can be a symptom vitamin A deficiency. He recommend that I start taking nature vitamin A in the form of Beta Carotene. I started taking it and the wax went away. It's funny, but I almost missed being able to clean out all that wax, but I know I'm much healthier and hear better without.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the very interesting comment, Judy. I appreciate your visit.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      One of the neat things about HP is that you never know what interesting information you will come across. Though I could have looked up something on this topic, I wouldn't have done so today and therefore, I would not have learned more about the subject than I ever thought I would know! Having these details in "my back pocket" will be useful one day, whether for a personal or family/friend's need, or as an object lesson in conversation/writing--experience tells me it's gonna happen. :)

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the lovely comment, RTalloni! I appreciate your visit very much. I love learning new things at HubPages, too. There is so much information to be discovered.

    • Rota profile image

      Rota 2 years ago

      Very informative - it was so interesting to learn that people's ear wax and odour is related.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, Rota. I appreciate your comment.

    • DWDavisRSL profile image

      DW Davis 2 years ago from Eastern NC

      Having suffered from occasional impaction when I was younger, I am able to appreciate the information and guidance you provide in your Hub. Thank you for reminding me of several important guidelines and teaching me many things I did not know about ear care.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, DWDavisRSL. It's nice to meet you.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      You've made this topic quite interesting and shared useful information, I had no idea that ear wax and body odor could be related. That is really bizarre.

      Recently, my mother lost her hearing overnight. Although her hearing has been growing worse as she approaches ninety, this was cause for concern. I took her to an ear specialist and they flushed her ears with a solution of hydrogen peroxide and warm water. It took over an hour but a large block of wax came out and her hearing has improved tremendously. I was amazed at the amount of wax that had accumulated inside her ear canal. Ear care is truly important.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm glad that your mother's hearing problem was helped, Peg. You are so right - ear care is very important. Thanks for the visit.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 20 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Alicia, I'm glad you wrote this hub. I have had problems with my ear. Never thought the ear could hurt so much. Thanks, Stella

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 20 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, Stella. I hope you find a solution for your ear pain. Best wishes.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 17 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I always learn a great deal from your hubs, and this was again very informative. I always like the way to write about scientific or health related information. Many thanks. ( never knew about cats liking earwax.)

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 17 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the kind comment, Nadine. I always appreciate your visits.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 17 months ago

      Ear candling sounds pretty bizarre so I will pass on it!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 17 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I will, too, poetryman!

    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 14 months ago from New Delhi, India

      This is really a very helpful and informative article which is also very useful in our day to day life. We need to know about this.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 14 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, pinto2011. I appreciate your visit.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 13 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Your medical hubs are always so interesting and informative. Many thanks for this info.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 13 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, Nadine.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 10 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Yes Linda, thanks for this fascinating information about the relationship of earwax and underarm odour. My grandmother had no body odour , and didn't sweat and my mother noticed early on that I seem to have inherited that from her. I believe our older son is the same, even though he was an athlete and would return from a long run with a very red, hot face, he never sweated copiously under his arms or had body odour. I would like to send him this article, but I am not sure how to present it, so I will likely think about it. I have long been curious about an indigenous background but had thought it was from my father's side only-- now I'm thinking that perhaps my maternal grandmother's father (a McDonald with very little genealogical information available) might have been Metis. In any case, thank you for this superb article. I will be sharing extensively! ~Cynthia

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 10 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the interesting and kind comment, Cynthia. I appreciate all the shares, too!

    Click to Rate This Article