The ear canal is lined with hair follicles and glands that produce a waxy oil called cerumen. Sometimes the glands produce more wax than can be easily excreted out the ear. This extra wax may harden within the ear canal and block the ear.
Review Date: 9/4/2012 Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.