Black ear wax

Ear wax is a secretion that is made from glands in the ear, in the one third parts that is on the outer side. These glands are known as the sebaceous and ceruminous glands. These secretions occur not only in humans but also in most other mammals. These secretions are actually helpful as there are some health benefits that are enjoyed from the production of ear wax. However, if there is a buildup of wax and it fails to bring itself out as normal ear wax should, problems occur.

Ear wax is either wet or dry, and its color can be anything between light and dark brown or orange color. At times you may even see black ear wax. In case you notice a foul odor or one that is unusual, you may need to see a doctor as such presentations usually indicate that the environment inside the ear is not healthy. The problem could be just a mild accumulation of wax, or it could be something as serious as a ruptured eardrum. Ear wax helps protect ears from infection by keeping away bacteria, trapping dust, dirt as well as small insects, preventing them from getting into the ear canal. Ear wax is technically known as cerumen.

Why is there black ear wax?

As mentioned above, ear wax can present itself in any of a few different colors. However, in case you notice some black ear discharge, you need to consult your doctor to rule out an infection. Normally, the only thing that should come from your ears is the sticky ear wax, or sometimes a bit dry, but no kind of discharge should present in a healthy ear. Black ear wax should not cause alarm as more often than not it is as a result of either build up of dust inside the ear canal, mixing with the ear wax, or it could be just old ear wax. However, ear candles have a fabric that usually turns black and waxy at the end of the procedure, and this can easily be confused with an individual’s own ear wax build up. When one is not used to seeing their ear wax black in color and one day it presents in it, the first question that comes to mind is: is black ear wax bad? Only careful observation can answer that question. This is because one may notice something that is out of the ordinary, such as a foul smell, or a smell that is unusual. Your doubts need to be checked by the doctor so as to treat any infection that may be there. It is better for the doctor to rule out an infection rather than keeping quiet about it because some problems become aggravated when left on their own. Late intervention can make one to lose their hearing while early intervention can save it in case the problem was serious. Black ear wax in kids should face the same or more serious scrutiny to rule out infections, even though in most instances it should turn out to be normal.

Black ear waxWhen there is black ear wax in dogs, the problem is usually a sign of an infestation by ear mites. These are tiny parasites that prefer to inhabit the ear canals of animals such as dogs, rabbits, hamsters and gerbils. You will find that ear mites are still they usual culprits in black ear wax in cats. Mites in the ears of animals can be harmful as they can sometimes cause the environment inside the ear canal to allow the development of infections caused by bacteria or yeast. The irony in this situation is that by the time the animal is taken to the vet, in most cases the mites may be long gone leaving behind the infection that they caused.

How do you remove black ear wax?

When there is a buildup of dim ear wax, there are several ways of removing it. The first and maybe most obvious, is go to the doctor for manual extraction. The other methods are more or less simple and one can do on themselves or have someone else do it on them. The methods are several:  use of olive or mineral oil. This is filled in the ear canal and left for 5 minutes. Hydrogen peroxide is another method of removing ear wax. The procedure is more or less the same as with olive oil. In both procedures, after the 5 minutes of putting your head down with the ear to be treated facing up, one may squeeze some warm water form a syringe and squirt into the ear canal, thereby dislodging the loosened ear wax. Another method is using ear wax candle. This is a special kind of candle that is 11 inches long and it is hollow. The procedure is done by placing the pointed end of the candle inside the opening of the ear and then lighting the other side. The theory is that it brings about a slow vacuum that works at extracting built up wax by softening and pulling the old wax up into the candle’s base. This extracted ear wax will be found in the burnt candle. This is a procedure that takes about 20 minutes.

However, this is an ear wax elimination method that should be approached with caution as improper use or accident can cause damage to the ear. However, there are people that use the method on a regular basis. Nevertheless, the important thing to know is that the ear is a delicate and vital organ of the body and it needs a lot of care. Therefore, some treatments for removal of ear wax should be done in consultation with the doctor. For instance, for treatment such as hydrogen peroxide, one should never use if they have a damaged or injured ear drum to avoid more harm? Ear wax is meant to bring itself out, but in the case of build up, sometimes resulting in dark or black ear wax, that is the only time removal should be done as build up can cause loss of hearing.

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