I have an ear question. It's gross, nasty and WAAAY TMI. You were warned...

See, the thing is I was just cleaning my ears a tad - mostly because they were really, really itchy.

I got a TONNE of ear-wax and it’s really kinda dark - black almost. (Hey - I warned you it was gross.) No, I don’t work in any sort of mine.

Does this mean anything in particular? Do I need to see a physician? Is this just one of those wacky things bodies do?

Thanks in advance.

Do you swim much? I used to get a ton when I swam.

That aside, it just means that your ears didn’t do their normal wax-shedding routine. I have a rubber syringe to periodically rinse my ears out when it seems my hearing is fading or water isn’t draining the way it used to. Of course that’s only maybe every year or so. Alot more frequent than that and who knows…

My doctor told me that Q-Tips are really bad for people that have a wax problem, b/c they just force a lot of it further into the ear canal.

What really cleans out wax is lying on one’s side and pouring a bit of peroxide into your ear. You’ll let it fizz for a few minutes and then put a towel over your ear and drain the peroxide out. Powers through all the nastiness.

I think dark earwax is not anything to worry about. I would guess that it’s dark either from being in there a while or from catching the dirt particles. I swim fairly often and also get a lot of earwax (dark and otherwise). If you google for “dark earwax” almost all sites decribe earwax being from light to dark in color.

If there’s too much in your canal, there are a lot of options. You can go to drugstore and buy a kit, or just use hydrogen peroxide to soften it yourself. Don’t use a Q-tip, it pushes it in further.

Here is my personal experience: A couple months back I was in the doctor’s office for another reason when I mentioned something about too much earwax. After the doctor left, a nurse used a device to squrt high-pressure water in my ear canal. It was painful, but the wax came out. After I got home my ear started bleeding and the inside of my ear hurt for the rest of the day. I don’t think my eardrum was punctured, but it was a bad experience. Because of this I don’t reccomend getting your wax removed at a doctor’s office.

My dog gets really dark earwax, and it doesn’t seem to have affected him. I use a vet ear cleaner on him and use a human ear cleaner on myself occasionally.

According to my doctor, peroxide can sneak behind the ear drum in some cases and that can be really bad. Also It contains a lot of water and thus can promote an ear infection. Another doctor reccommended sweet oil to soften the wax so it will come out, no water to feed the bacteria.

KellyM, when we were first together was laying with her head on my breast. All of a sudden she jumped up and said that she could no hear in the ear that had been down. I used a q-tip at the entrance but not in the canal of her ear to tease out a copious amount of brownish orange wax. Apparently it had built up for years.

i get a load of earwax in my ears- especially when i am doing alot of mixing, and listening to loud music for long periods of time (i am a recording engineer) and typically my hearing starts to get blocked. I used to go to the doctor to get it flushed out as described above (although i never had the bleeding) but found a product called EAR CLEAR which is basically a large angled syringe. Whenever my ears get “plugged up” i flush out the wax while i am taking a shower with the syringe. It works great. I notice that i have dark wax typically when i have been at smoky bars, or i have a cold.

I used to get a lot built-up against my eardrum when I swam. Once it was so bad that I couldn’t hear anything but the loudest noises.

When I went to an ENT doctor to get it cleaned, I filled out the patient info and waited in the front room. The doctor’s assistant called my name, but I couldn’t hear. She finally read my complaint (deafness) and went person to person asking for me. :rolleyes:

Dark ear wax means the wax is dirty. No big deal.

Use any type of oil (gently warmed to body temperature if you prefer) in the ears daily for a few days to soften wax. Peroxide would be painful if there was any bleeding or eardrum rupture as pointed out.