Your ears feel wet because they are making more wax. It really is that simple. Ear wax (properly referred to as cerumen) is a sticky substance that serves as a skin conditioner, dust catcher, insect repellent, and has pretty impressive anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties.

When ear wax is first produced, it is very thin and clear, and as it ages it becomes darker and quite thick. Because your ear canal sits right atop your jaw joint, the ear wax naturally migrates outward with jaw motion. Think about it.

If you wear hearing aids, the wax can’t properly evacuate and will often build up in the canal. This is a perfectly normal consequence of wearing hearing aids and is easily manageable.

First, please don’t use cotton swabs to clean your ears. They only serve to pack the wax in deeper and tighter and will likely make the problem worse. Additionally, if you use cotton swabs every morning you remove the thin coating of wax that your ear spent all night making. If you remove it, it will just have to do it again. The more you clean, the more ‘wet’ your ears feel. In fact, don’t try to clean your own ears at all until you have seen your audiologist and she has made sure your ear canal is healthy and your eardrum is intact.

Once your audiologist has reassured both you and herself that it is safe to do so, you can gently rinse out your ear canals with a homemade solution. Check out our guide to at home ear care.