TIM VERNON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TIM VERNON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ear wax pieces next to a five pence coin to provide scale. Ear wax (cerumen) is a waxy substance secreted by the skin in the human ear canal. There are two types of ear wax: a wet type (top) and a dry type (bottom). A build-up of hardened dry ear wax can block the ear canal and interfere with hearing. Such blockages may need to be removed by irrigation of the ear, using warm water in a process called syringing.
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