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All You Need To Know About Ear Wax

(credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - It doesn’t have the drama of heart disease, the impact of musculoskeletal injuries, or the “gee whiz” factor of research, but it is common and there are certain things you need to know about it. I am talking about earwax – and making too much of it.

First, and most important, don’t use cotton swabs and put them in your ear canal. I have seen more people create major problems by doing this. The ear canal is not endless. There is a fine layer of tissue called the tympanic membrane inside there. It can easily be perforated.

As for the wax, it is made by cells located in the skin of the canal and it’s job is to protect the skin. Certain people make more wax. Most of us make more as we get older.