Obviously we all have ears and we all produce ear wax but do we ever give it much thought? Considered a bit of a nuisance by many, ear wax actually has a part to play.
The color of ear wax can tell us about the state of our health
While it protects the skin and the ear itself from both water and infections, the color of your wax can sometimes be an indication of something wrong. For example, normal ear wax ranges from light orange to dark brown. However, if it is yellow, green, white or black, the owner could be at risk of infection and should seek further advice.
The amount of wax is important too
Ear wax can be wet, dry, too much or too little. Because everyone experiences different amounts and consistency, the appearance of symptoms could be an indication of an abnormality:
The feeling of fullness in the ear.
Some loss in hearing, tinnitus, ringing or other noises in the ear.
Itching, an odor or a discharge. An odor should always be investigated.
And more surprisingly, coughing.
The presence of eczema or psoriasis
Dry or flaky ear wax is a sign of possible skin problems especially when they already suffer from rashes. One is eczema. I used to have very itchy ears when I was younger and it was diagnosed as ear eczema. Another skin issue is psoriasis especially if accompanied by pain.
How to deal with too much ear wax
But only if the wax is blocking your ears and affecting your hearing. You can visit your healthcare provider regularly to have them cleaned. Or you can use these safe ear cleaning tips at home:
Never be tempted to use Q-tips to clean out wax. Instead...
Soften the wax – Use an eyedropper to apply a few drops of natural baby oil in your ear canal.
Use warm water – After a day or two, when the wax has softened, use a rubber-bulb syringe to gently apply warm water into your ear canal. Tilt your head to straighten the ear canal and allow the water to enter the ear and, when you are finished irrigating, tip your head to the side and let the water drain out.
Dry your ear canal – When you’re finished, gently dry your outer ear with a clean towel.
A word of warning
Never try to clear or clean your own ears if you have diabetes, a perforated eardrum, a tube in the eardrum, eczema in the ear canal or a weakened immune system. Seek help from a medical practitioner instead
Jane writes for Healing Natural Oils, a producer and retailer of high-quality, all-natural treatments for a variety of conditions as well as a range of beauty products. Apart from writing about those various conditions, she also covers general health, environmental and other subjects of interest. She has lived in Kenya as well as Cape Town, South Africa and spent time in San Diego, USA. She now lives in Somerset, England with regular visits from her far-flung children and grandchildren. She is a keen gardener and enjoys growing fresh fruit and vegetables with her husband on their joint allotment. As a result, there is something available to use in the kitchen virtually all year round. Her regular posts can be found on our blog.