See Your Earwax and You’ll See How Healthy You Are

Believe it or not, earwax can be of great importance for the body because it may reveal a lot about your overall health. Even though no one likes discussing on the topic of earwax, the next time you clean your ears, you should definitely take a look at what comes out.

WHAT KIND OF SUBSTANCE IS EARWAX?

Earwax is a substance produced by the body as prevention from germs and dirt entering the ear canal. This gooey substance keeps the ears clean, functional, and healthy. It is a mixture of alcohol, squalene, and long-chain fatty acids.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF EARWAX AND THEIR MEANING

Yellow, Sticky, and Wet

This is the most common type of earwax in adults and the sticky texture and consistency prevent the drying out of the ear canals and itchiness as well.

Gray

Even though it may appear unusual, it is nothing to worry about. Namely, gray earwax color is a result of the ear’s natural process of cleaning. Nonetheless, in case the wax is dry and brittle and you have itchy ears, this may be a symptom of eczema, so, make sure you consult your physician.

Light yellowish

This is the normal color of earwax in children. In comparison to adults, children produce much more earwax which reduces as they grow.

Gooey and dark

Darker earwax may mean that the body is sweating more than usually. Hence, people with this type of earwax have a higher chance of producing stronger body odor. But, there is nothing to be worried about because this is completely healthy.

Bloody wax

When you notice dried blood in the earwax, you may have a perforated eardrum and this requires medical attention.

Runny and wet

From time to time, earwax can drain out from the ears and this is its normal process of cleaning. Nevertheless, if it pours in excessive amounts along with pus and blood, you should seek medical attention because you may have a ruptured drum.

Dark brown or black

This color may have to do with the overproduction of earwax due to stress or it is just a sign that the earwax was in the ear for too long. As a result, the fat in the earwax reacts to oxygen which results in a darker brown or black color.

Flaky, white, and dry

This is normal earwax and people who have it usually produce less body odor to those with darker earwax.

Thick and dark

In a lot of cases, anxiety and too much stress can cause an overproduction of earwax. Heavy perspiration is another contributor and it can also block the ear canals and cause temporary hearing problems. Those with this type of earwax should clean their ear on a regular basis to avoid complications. Of course, they should also find ways to lower the stress.

Your Earwax And You’ll See How Healthy You Are

Believe it or not, earwax can be of great importance for the body because it may reveal a lot about your overall health. Even though no one likes discussing on the topic of earwax, the next time you clean your ears, you should definitely take a look at what comes out.

WHAT KIND OF SUBSTANCE IS EARWAX?

Earwax is a substance produced by the body as prevention from germs and dirt entering the ear canal. This gooey substance keeps the ears clean, functional, and healthy. It is a mixture of alcohol, squalene, and long-chain fatty acids.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF EARWAX AND THEIR MEANING

Yellow, Sticky, and Wet

This is the most common type of earwax in adults and the sticky texture and consistency prevent the drying out of the ear canals and itchiness as well.

Gray

Even though it may appear unusual, it is nothing to worry about. Namely, gray earwax color is a result of the ear’s natural process of cleaning. Nonetheless, in case the wax is dry and brittle and you have itchy ears, this may be a symptom of eczema, so, make sure you consult your physician.

Light yellowish

This is the normal color of earwax in children. In comparison to adults, children produce much more earwax which reduces as they grow.

Gooey and dark

Darker earwax may mean that the body is sweating more than usually. Hence, people with this type of earwax have a higher chance of producing stronger body odor. But, there is nothing to be worried about because this is completely healthy.

Bloody wax

When you notice dried blood in the earwax, you may have a perforated eardrum and this requires medical attention.

Runny and wet

From time to time, earwax can drain out from the ears and this is its normal process of cleaning. Nevertheless, if it pours in excessive amounts along with pus and blood, you should seek medical attention because you may have a ruptured drum.

Dark brown or black

This color may have to do with the overproduction of earwax due to stress or it is just a sign that the earwax was in the ear for too long. As a result, the fat in the earwax reacts to oxygen which results in a darker brown or black color.

Flaky, white, and dry

This is normal earwax and people who have it usually produce less body odor to those with darker earwax.

Thick and dark

In a lot of cases, anxiety and too much stress can cause an overproduction of earwax. Heavy perspiration is another contributor and it can also block the ear canals and cause temporary hearing problems. Those with this type of earwax should clean their ear on a regular basis to avoid complications. Of course, they should also find ways to lower the stress.

See Your Earwax And You’ll See How Healthy You Are

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.

The color and consistency of your pee, poop, saliva, and snot can signal potential health issues—or reassure you that all’s well. The same is true of the stuff that oozes out of your ears, though experts say your earwax isn’t as informative as a lot of people assume.

“To be honest, earwax doesn’t warrant a lot of attention in our practice,” says Brett Comer, MD, an assistant professor and otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doc) at the University of Kentucky.

Earwax—or “cerumen,” to use what Comer calls its “50-cent term”—helps keep dirt and bacteria from getting too far inside your ear canal. “People seem to worry about it a lot, and they ask if they’re making too much or too little, or about the color,” he says. “But it’s not like snot where those little things can tell us a lot.”

While earwax may not excite your doctor the way boogers do, there are still some things your ear goop can tell you about your health. Here are 6 of them.

It’s watery, and has a greenish tint.

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, Comer says. But if you haven’t been sweating, and the watery wax is greenish or dark yellow, that could indicate an ear infection, he says.

It’s sticky, or dry.

For all of us, it’s one or the other. And your type can provide clues to your genetic ancestry. Research appearing in the journal Nature Genetics finds most people of Asian decent have dry earwax, while people of African or European descent have sticky or “wet” wax. The authors of that study say this was a genetic adaptation to the climates in which our ancestors evolved.

It has a strong odor. 

You may have an infection or damage in the middle part of your ear. This can lead to a number of symptoms that, together, doctors refer to as “chronic otitis media.” One of those symptoms: “You could get a foul-smelling drainage from your ear,” Comer says. If your middle ear is messed up, you may also notice problems with your sense of balance, a ringing in your ears, or the sensation that your ear is full or blocked. See your doc.

You notice when it leaks out.

Infections or tears inside your eardrum can lead to the formation of an abnormal skin growth called a “cholesteatoma,” Comer explains. “It’s a kind of a cyst-like structure that leads to debris from the ear filling up the ear canal.” Rather than the imperceptible discharge you’re used to, ear gunk may come out in a noticeable trickle or clump. Pressure and pain in your ear are also symptoms of a cholesteatoma.

You don’t seem to have any.

If your earwax pulls a vanishing act—like, you don’t seem to make it any more—there’s a very small chance you have a rare and not-well-understood condition called “keratitis obturans,” Comer says. “Instead of coming out gradually on its own, the wax builds up inside your ear until you have this very hard plug,” he explains. On the off chance you have this going on in your ear, you’re likely to experience other symptoms like pain or fullness, he adds.

It’s flaky.
You’re not sick. You’re just getting older. “As people age, the wax tends to get more flaky as opposed to like peanut butter,” Comer says. Don’t freak out. “Glands in general tend to dry out as we get older,” he explains.

Your Earwax Can Tell How Healthy You Are. What Color Is Yours?

Earwax is a sticky substance that is created by the organism to prevent the bacteria and dirt from entering the ear canal. Moreover, this disgusting buildup in the ears actually keeps the ears clean, healthy and functional.

Scientists explain that the earwax itself is a combination of long-chain fatty acids, squalene and alcohol.

Furthermore, the earwax can tell how healthy you are, so next time you clean your ears, check the color of this sticky substance.

YELLOW, WET AND STICKY

Yellowish and sticky earwax is the most common type of wax at adults. Its wet and sticky texture keeps the the ear canal clean and also prevents it from drying out and becoming itchy.

GRAY

Despite the fact that gray earwax looks unusual, if you see it on your cotton swab, there is no need to worry. Medical experts explain that the gray color of earwax is a result of the ear’s natural cleaning process. However, in case if the wax is dry and brittle and you experience itchiness in your ear, it could be a sign of eczema. If you notice these symptoms, it is highly advisable to visit a doctor.

PALE YELLOW

Pale yellow earwax color is common at kids. It is important to mention that children tend to produce much more earwax than adults, but over time, as they get older, the production of earwax gradually decreases.

STICKY AND DARK

If the earwax has a darker color and it is more sticky than usual, it indicates that the   organism is perspiring more than usual. Namely, the darker the color of the wax is, the higher the probability that this extra sweat will cause unpleasant body odor. However, sticky and dark earwax is completely healthy.

DARK AND THICK

Human body produces more earwax as a result of chronic stress and anxiety. In addition to that, heavy sweating can also lead to an increase in production of earwax. Doctors explain that increased production of earwax can block the ear canal and cause temporary hearing impairment.

Therefore, if you notice that your earwax is dark and thick, make sure to clean your ears regularly and thus avoid any issues.

Dark and thick earwax also is indication that you should slow down and try to relax. Also, try some relaxing methods and reduce the stress.

DRY, WHITE AND FLAKY

Medical experts explain that while, dry and flaky earwax is completely normal and healthy. Namely, people who produce this type of wax have less body odor than people who produce dark ear wax.

BLACK OR DARK BROWN

Dark brown or black earwax looks really scary but there is no need to worry. Dark color of earwax usually occurs as a result of an overproduction of wax. Also, this color of the earwax might be indication that the wax has been in the ear longer because increased contact with oxygen changes the color.

WET AND RUNNY

It is completely normal if occasionally you notice that earwax comes out from your ears because it is a part of the natural cleaning process of the body. However, if you notice that wax pours out of your ears in large amounts and contains pus or blood, it is a sign of a perforated eardrum. If you notice this, you should seek medical attention – immediately.

BLOODY WAX

Sometimes, the old earwax looks like dried blood. However, if you notice bloody earwax you should get a medical attention as it might be indication of a perforated eardrum.