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Doctor insights on: Ear Wax

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Dr. Oscar Novick
1 doctor shared a insight

Ear Wax (Overview)

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 wet type (sticky, moist).


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Is the ear wax test real?

Is the ear wax test real?

Ear wax: Have never heard of an ear wax "test". Wax is just made up of dead skin and oils secreted from glands. Not much you could learn from it by having it "tested" so i would say not real.

Dr. Oscar Novick
1 doctor shared a insight

Ear Wax (Overview)

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 wet type (sticky, moist).


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What do I do about ear wax?

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.

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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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Why does ear wax turn black?

Why does ear wax turn black?

Oxidation ?: Long standing cerumen in the ear canal can turn black by oxidation. Not to worry except to make sure it is not a blood clot.

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What causes dry flaky ear wax?

What causes dry flaky ear wax?

Skin and wax gland: Cerumen or ear wax is a product of sloughed off dead skin and the compound produced by your cerumen glands in your outer ear canal. The consistency can range from moist to dry and flaky. It depends on the relative oil content of the cerumen gland product and amount of sloughed off skin.

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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
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Are waterpiks safe for ear wax?

Are waterpiks safe for ear wax?

Ear flushing: Waterpiks use high pressure water, and i would be concerned about damage to the ear drum with this. I wouldn't use anything stronger than the bulb syringe that comes with the wax removal kits you can get at the drug store.

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What is the purpose of ear wax?

What is the purpose of ear wax?

Protection: Ear wax is important in providing protection to the ear and can trap dust and other material that may enter the ear canal.

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What does blue ear wax look like?

What does blue ear wax look like?

Cerumen: Blue ear wax is a very uncommon problem. When infected with a certain strain of pseudomonas, it can turn a deep bluish color. It is exceptionally rare and is usually from infection, if symptoms of pain, throbbing, discharge or hearing loss are going on, get your ear checked out to make sure you get the right treatment.

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How do I remove impacted ear wax?

How do I remove impacted ear wax?

You don't: Impacted ear canal wax is not so easy to remove. If it has been documented that you have such a problem, using hydrogen peroxide 4 times a day for a week will usually liquify the wax so it can easily be irrigated with warm water. An ENT doctor is the most experienced doctor to evaluate this problem.

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How can you fix impacted ear wax?

How can you fix impacted ear wax?

You can't: Your physician, or an ENT specialist can. Wax can be softened and carefully removed by the doctor. Call now for an appointment.

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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.

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How can I increase ear wax production?

How can I increase ear wax production?

Alternative: There isn't much you can do to change how much wax you make. It depends on your skin type. You can, however, soothe the ear canal skin with over the counter and prescription preparations. See an ENT for an examination & specific advice before putting anything anything into your ears. If you have a damaged eardrum, you shouldn't put most things in your ears.

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How do I get impacted ear wax removed?

How do I get impacted ear wax removed?

Ear wash: There are over-the-counter ear wash kits available which are frequently successful in removing impacted wax. If this is unsuccessful, see your pcp or an ENT to have the ears cleaned.

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Is it not good to have a lot of ear wax?

Is it not good to have a lot of ear wax?

Mainly obstruction: Usually excess wax leads to obstruction and associated hearing loss. Sometimes the canal may become itchy. Occasionally water can get trapped leading to possible canal infection.

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Is there anything safe that dissolves ear wax?

Is there anything safe that dissolves ear wax?

Ear wax: Hello. Unfortunately there isn't any products than can be safely used in the ear that dissolves ear wax. Debrox has a wax softening agent with a peroxide solution that aids in removal.

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Should i be worried about having crusty ear wax?

Should i be worried about having crusty ear wax?

Ear wax: Hello. Ear wax may have multiple different appearances. Crusty wax that presents at the opening of the ear is working its way out like nature intended. See your doctor if the wax builds and affects your hearing. Make sure the doctor checks your ears every year for your annual physical. He/she can clean your ears if needed. No worries.

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Please tell me can ear wax permanently deafen you?

Please tell me can ear wax permanently deafen you?

Permanently, no.: Ear wax can block the ear canal and decrease your level of hearing, but it is temporary. If it is cleared, your hearing should restore back to your typical level. Any worries about hearing should get checked out because often people mistakenly believe that wax is causing the problem with hearing.