The ear is divided into 3 portions, the outer, meddle and inner ear. The middle and outer ear is separated by the ear drum. Ear wax is produced naturally by the body in the outer third of the external ear canal. It is not produced deeper in the ear canal. The ear canal is also shaped like an hour glass with wide and narrow portions,
Ear wax comes in various colour and consistency. The function of ear wax is to trap dust and fine particles from reaching the delicate ear drum. Ear wax also acts as water repellant. Most of the ear canal is self cleaning. As the wax accumulates, the older ear wax is transported to the outer part of the ear where it dries up and flake off.
Ear cleaning and probing is not encouraged as this causes the ear canal to be blocked affecting the hearing. If the ear wax is pushed too far in, it may not clear on its own and required intervention.
Ear probing can also cause injuring to the skin of the ear canal and results in infection. This is referred to as otitis externa.
In the event of ear blockage by was, ear wax softener may be used. Do not however use this if there is a hole in the ear drum. However if this does not help, you may need to see a ENT doctor to have your ear syringed or have the ear wax sucked out. DO use the ear wax softener for several days before visiting your ENT doctor as this would make clearance of the ear wax easier.