Earwax, the stuff that oozes out of your ears is a natural substance produced by glands in the ear canal that has protective, lubricating and antibacterial properties. The main work of the wax is to protect the ears from bacteria and other external agents.
Most people don’t pay close attention to their ear wax, and that’s a mistake. Your ear wax actually provides quite a bit of insight into your overall health. Yes, it’s kind of gross, but you can learn a lot about what’s going on inside your body by paying attention to the stuff it produces. Have a look at the following warnings related to ear wax.
1. What if your earwax is itchy?
We all get the urge to scratch our ears every now and then, but if you’re constantly digging in your ears to relieve an itch, it might be a sign that something’s wrong. And sticking your fingers or other objects into your ears will only make it worse. Itching in or around the ear canal could suggest an infection.
2. What if your earwax is dark and dry?
As people get older, their earwax becomes thick, dry and dark. But if you notice this at a younger age, then visit a doctor.
3. What if your earwax is yellow or green?
The natural color of earwax varies from light orange to dark brown. But, if your earwax is getting yellow, green, white, or black, then it is the time to visit a doctor as there are chances of severe infection in your ear.
4. What if your earwax is dry and flaky?
If your earwax and ear canal skin is flaky and dry, it could actually be eczema. Eczema is a condition where skin dries out and becomes red, patchy, and itchy. This is easily treatable, so talk to your doctor and get it treated. It’s not a serious problem but requires a doctor’s attention to recover.
This earwax consistency, possibly accompanied by soreness, could also be a sign of psoriasis, though this is less common.
5. What if your earwax has a strong odour?
Your earwax should never have an odor; if it does, that signals an infection and it needs to be treated.
6. What if you can feel your earwax?
If you have a persistent feeling of earwax in your canal, that could mean it’s blocked and needs to be cleaned out by your doctor. Contrary to popular belief, cotton swabs don’t actually clean your ears; instead, they push earwax further into the canal, which can lead to buildup, irritation, and even damage to hearing bones. Don’t use them to remove earwax!
7. What if your earwax drips out?
Ear wax is little wet, not dry, but will never seep out from the ears. If you’ve been sweating, a watery discharge from your ear is probably the result of your perspiration leaking down into your ear and mixing with the wax. But, if you notice that you have watery wax coming out of your ears without you haven’t been sweating, that could be a sign of chronic ear disease. Talk to your doctor right away about getting it corrected. If not, the infection may spread, causing you serious problems.
8. What if you don’t get earwax at all?
Ear wax is a normal, healthy function of the ears. If you don’t have any ear wax—like, you don’t seem to make it anymore, that actually may be a sign of a rare health problem. Called “keratosis obturans,” this occurs when the ear forms a plug due to incorrect skin shedding. An experienced doctor will need to remove this blockage, lest a person does permanent damage to their ear drum. If you have no ear wax, see a doctor right away.