Wet and dry earwax

This article talks about the gene for determining “wet” vs. “dry” earwax being discovered. It’s an interesting example of human diversity.

But that’s not my question.

My question is - how do you know if you have “wet” or “dry” earwax? I’ve never compared my earwax to anyone else’s, and since the husband is asleep I don’t want to go digging in his ears because it occurs to me that waking up to an ear excavation in progress would be more than somewhat alarming.

The other problem is that between the Asian in my background and the North American Native in his we really could have either version so I’m not sure a comparison would work.

Anybody got more info?

Memories from 9th grade biology suggest that “dry” wax is crumbly, whereas the “Wet” kind is sticky or tacky and wettish.

I suppose you could ask your doctor next time you visit, he may be able to diagnose. What this info could possibly be good for is beyond me, but whatever lets you sleep at night.

Wikipedia has a description:

Here are some medical studies about the issue:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/dispomim.cgi?id=117800

Sadly, I am unable to find pictures.

Here, more than you ever wanted to see!

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://eac.hawkelibrary.com/albums/Cerumen/20_Right.jpg&imgrefurl=http://eac.hawkelibrary.com/Cerumen/20_Right&h=702&w=1124&sz=66&tbnid=Ev0glV72_QmStM:&tbnh=93&tbnw=150&hl=en&start=88&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcerumen%26start%3D80%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26c2coff%3D1%26sa%3DN

Fascinating (I guess) but it doesn’t really answer the OP question, does it? I mean, is that a big ol’ pile of “wet” earwax or “dry” earwax?

From the same site as the aforelinked wax cast:

A picture of dry earwax

A picture of wet earwax, inside the ear canal

If it soaks into the Q-tip it is wet, it it sits on the Q-tip it is dry.

Does anyone else think the Craftsman Wet-Dry Vac ad might be a little excessive for ear wax?