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Doctor insights on: Dark Orange Ear Wax

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I have an iverabundance of ear wax that even falls out of my ears. I clean them regularly, but it is orange red..What could this be?

I have an iverabundance of ear wax that even falls out of my ears. I clean them regularly, but it is orange red..What could this be?

Healthy ears: Do not obsess about your ears. Wax is a natural substance which protects the canal skin. It moistens the skin it repels water fights infection and should be left alone. The fact that you clean your ears regularly means that you're irritating your canal skin and the ear just makes more wax. When it gets to the very outside you can remove it safely but never go in the hole. ...Read more

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Dr. David Astrachan
Board Certified, ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
31 years in practice
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Ear Wax (Definition)

Ear wax in the ear canal is a mixture of secretions from oil and sweat glands in the canal's skin. Shedded skin cells are also a major ingredient of ear wax. There are two genetically determined types of ear wax: the wet type and the dry type. While Asians and Native Americans are more likely to have the dry type (crumbly, flaky), Africans and Europeans are more likely to have the ...Read more


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Dark brown ear wax in one ear, its very painful?

Dark brown ear wax in one ear, its very painful?

Can't tell if: you are making a statement or asking a question, but cerumen does not commonly cause pain unless there is an associated middle ear or ear canal infection ...Read more

Dr. David Astrachan
Board Certified, ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
31 years in practice
5M people helped
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Treating Swimmer's Ear (Checklist)

Keep water out of ears (use earplugs or shower cap when showering)
Daily
Use eardrops as directed
Daily
Use Tylenol or warm compresses to minimize pain
3x day
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I have an unusual amount of dark colored ear wax in one ear. Is this ear infected?

I have an unusual amount of dark colored ear wax in one ear. Is this ear infected?

Maybe not: A person with an ear infection usually has some pain or other discomfort in the ear. Changes in the amount of ear wax cannot tell if there is or is not an infection. Excessive ear wax can hold moisture in the ear canal (after swimming, after showers) and lead to a "swimmers' ear" skin infection of the ear canal. A primary care doctor or ENT doctor can remove the earwax and examine the ears. ...Read more

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Ear mites it says NO but what else could be living in my ear, i feels like it is stuck or attached when i try to get out also darker ear wax ?

Ear mites it says NO  but what else could be living in my ear, i feels like it is stuck or attached when i try to get out also darker ear wax ?

Ear lavage: Make an appointment to have your ears flushed out ( lavaged)- this is a common misconception-clumps of wax can feel like something foreign in your ear. ...Read more

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Treating an Ear Infection (Checklist)

Look for other sources of ear pain besides infection
Once
Ask doc if TMJ (spasm of muscles to jaw joint) is causing ear pain
Once
Know that middle ear fluid isn't necessarily infection
Once
Look for ear pain and ear drainage -- both signs of infection
Once
Board Certified, ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
31 years in practice
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Dark brown ear wax balls coming out by themselves from the right ear of my 3 month old baby girl. Normal or infection?

Dark brown ear wax balls coming out by themselves from the right ear of my 3 month old baby girl. Normal or infection?

Sounds more : Like earwax rather than an infection.Red flag if with fever, fussy, runny nose, coughing etc. Persistent drainage from the ear need to be checked for possible ear infection. ...Read more

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My 6 month old has dark brown ear wax in her right ear. We were just at the dr for her check up, no problems. Could it be an infection w/o a fever?

Not necessarily: Ear wax or cerumen has many colors. Sometimes it is yellow o white but frequently it is dark brown. If there are no other symptoms suggestive of infection, it is unlikely to be an infection. ...Read more

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What do I do about ear wax?

Just say NO to Q-tip: "do not stick anything smaller than your elbow in your ear!" to clean your ears: 1) use household peroxide - place several drops in your ear, let it sit for 10-15 minutes and repeat for the other side. Take a shower and let the water clean out your ears. 2) use over the counter debrox. ...Read more

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How can impacted ear wax be removed?

How can impacted ear wax be removed?

Carefully by an ENT: If it's impacted 9 times out of 10 it was pushed in by a well intentioned q-tip. Removing impacted wax is bread and butter for an ENT doctor. We have the proper skill and equipment. Anything that you try has the risk of further aggravating your ear leading to worsening impaction and risking infection and pain. Do nothing and contact an ENT doctor for help. ...Read more

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Dr. David Astrachan
Board Certified, ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
31 years in practice
5M people helped
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