6 doctors weighed in:
My 2.5 year old had tubes at 10 mths. I clean his ears daily because the wax is dark brown. Is this normal? And how long do tubes stay in?
6 doctors weighed in

2 doctors agree
In brief: See below
The wax is not secondary to the tubes.
Ear wax provides a protective benefit to the ear canal. It can help prevent infections. Some kids do tend to make more wax than others. Clean what you can see with a safety q-tip.

In brief: See below
The wax is not secondary to the tubes.
Ear wax provides a protective benefit to the ear canal. It can help prevent infections. Some kids do tend to make more wax than others. Clean what you can see with a safety q-tip.
Dr. Anthony LaBarbera
Dr. Anthony LaBarbera
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1 comment
Dr. Anna Meyer
I would recommend not using a q-tip for ear cleaning, as you don't want to push any wax further into the ear canal, even when you are just cleaning the outer part of the canal. wipe away any wax that has fallen out of the ear canal, otherwise, it will take care of itself on its own and does not need maintenance.
Brian Fishman
Emergency Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: Don't Clean
We do not recommend cleaning out ears with q-tips, as you're more likely to just push the wax back and cause an impaction that could lead to hearing loss and ear pain.
Tympanostomy tubes usually stay in until they fall out on their own after one year or so, but if you are concerned, follow up with your pediatrician or an otolaryngologist. Don't worry about the color of the wax, no need to clean.

In brief: Don't Clean
We do not recommend cleaning out ears with q-tips, as you're more likely to just push the wax back and cause an impaction that could lead to hearing loss and ear pain.
Tympanostomy tubes usually stay in until they fall out on their own after one year or so, but if you are concerned, follow up with your pediatrician or an otolaryngologist. Don't worry about the color of the wax, no need to clean.
Brian Fishman
Brian Fishman
Answer assisted by Brian Fishman, Medical Student
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