Can the color of your ear wax signal a health problem? When should you seek medical help?
EARWAX isn’t literally wax, but it has a waxy, sticky texture that gives it its name. Its main job is to keep the ear safe and clear. However, according to one specialist, the color could be a sign of a health condition.
Earwax is produced for a variety of reasons, but its primary purpose is to protect and clear the ear, carrying trapped dirt and debris with it as it comes out. Its sticky texture keeps bacteria and germs from getting deeper into the ear and creating infections, as well as keeping unwanted visitors away. Earwax also prevents discomfort and dryness by lubricating the skin and maintaining the ear’s natural PH balance.
The color of your ear wax, according to Mr Misha Verkerk FRCS, Clinical Director of Auris Ear Care, is not a good indicator of whether you are healthy or not.
“Healthy ear wax can range in color from white to yellow to brown to black!” he told Express Health.
“Healthy ear wax, whether wet or dry, is something you got from your parents.”
“However, if your ear wax is green or stinky, or if your ear is bleeding, this could suggest an infection, and you should seek medical advice immediately,” he warned.
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Normally, your body produces enough earwax to keep your ears healthy, but this wax can become hard or impacted, causing problems like hearing loss or discomfort.
Earwax comes in a variety of forms. Researchers in Japan (Kishi, 1907) found two varieties of humans more than a century ago.
According to Verkerk, flaky ear wax is lighter in color than wet, sticky ear wax.
What are the symptoms of too much earwax? Gordon Harrison, the senior audiologist at Specsavers, explains the signs and symptoms to look out for.
“When your ears are plugged with wax, it can feel as though you’ve lost your hearing because noises become muffled,” he explained.
“You may notice ringing or a popping sensation in your ear, as well as pain or a feeling of fullness.
“It’s an unusual sensation that can be unsettling if you haven’t had it before.”
The greatest thing you can do is avoid putting anything in your ears that can push earwax deeper into your ear canal. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”