Where does ear wax come from?

Where does ear wax come from?-Axel Glade

Have you ever asked yourself, where does ear wax come from? Those tiny lumps of yellow or black dirt aren’t very pleasing to the eye. No matter how much we try, there might always be a buildup of earwax. Let’s see what contributes to its product.

Where Does ear wax Come From

Ear wax is essential for the smooth working of your ears, and therefore, a part of it is produced by your ear itself. Ear wax, as the name suggests, isn’t exactly a type of wax, but it is a mixture of skin cells, sebum, sweat, and a small portion of dirt.

Ear wax or cerumen is produced by the glands present on the outer lining of your ear canal. The dirt found in the ear wax is accumulated by the tiny hairs present throughout the ear canal. If not trapped, these tiny dirt particles can cause severe damage to your inner ear. So, in a sense, ear wax is good and much needed for your well-being.

If you are someone who constantly cleans out ear wax or if the production of ear wax is too little, you are most likely to suffer from itchy ears. An itchy ear is more prone to ear canal infection.

What Causes Excess Production of ear wax

But what happens if the cerumen deposits exceed the permissible amounts? When the ear wax is present beyond a certain level, it can cause mild deafness, full ear sensation, ear canal infection, earaches, and so many more problems.

Apart from the amount of earwax, the color of it also matters. The darker the ear wax, the older it is and you should try to get it cleaned as soon as possible. Ear wax can also change color or be in black for those who are exposed to excessive dirt. For this reason, people who work in the construction sector should get it cleaned regularly to make sure that the dust particles don’t penetrate deeper.

For some people, the ear wax may get hardened and attain a rock-like texture. This is only because the wax has remained in the ear for years. In such cases, it is highly recommended that you get it cleaned professionally to avoid any more complications.

Sometimes people come across ear wax that appears yellow with a tinge of red. This is because the ear wax was mixed up with drops of blood and might be a sign of ear damage or ear injury. In this case, too, it's highly important to rush to a doctor as soon as possible to prevent the damage from affecting your hearing capability.

Surprisingly, some food items can trigger the production of ear wax. For example, if lactose-intolerant people consume dairy in more than the permissible amounts, it can trigger the excessive production of ear wax. The same is the case with gluten.


To sum it up, ear wax production is quite normal. What is not okay is the production of an excessive amount of earwax. Following a healthy diet and lifestyle can put an end to the excessive production of ear wax. Also, make it a point to get your ear checked even when you feel the slightest discomfort in your ears.