What is earwax?

Earwax is a mixture of secretions from the ceruminous and sebaceous glands, together with flakes of skin, dust and other debris. The cerumen glands are thick sweat glands of a special type. The secretions can be activated by emotional stimulation (fear) and when touching the skin (over zealous cleaning of the canal).

Evaporation occurs allowing the sticky substance to entrap dust, bacteria, fungi and flakes of skin before being expelled by 'migration' - a process whereby the skin layer of the eardrum is continuously migrating- thus moving up the ear canal  aided by jaw movement.  Thus dispelling the excess earwax.

Earwax often becomes drier with increasing age.  Although the quality and quantity of earwax is similar for both sexes, wax impaction iseems to be more common in males.