How zealous do you really need to be about removing ear wax?

Most people, especially parents of young children, are needlessly worried about ear wax, which is a normal body secretion that, in most cases, sloughs off by itself.

“Wax isn’t dirt. It’s not a bad thing. It keeps the skin in the ear canal from getting too dried out,” said Dr. Jo Shapiro, chief of the division of otolaryngology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.