Why Does My Ear Wax Smell?

Normally the ear wax is slightly smelly and bitter. It is because of the chemical composition and dead bacteria and debris which get entrapped in the canal. The smell prevents insects from entering inside the ear. However, sometimes there is strong odor emitted from ear wax. This is unusual and an indication of an underlying pathology.

Why does earwax smell bad in the middle of the ear?

Anaerobic bacteria, that means the organism doesn’t require oxygen to thrive, tend to emit a foul odor that can make earwax smell bad. A bad smell can also mean an infection is causing middle ear damage. You might notice your balance is off and there is ringing or other phantom noises in the affected ear. Time to see the doctor.

Why do I have wax build up in my ear?

An external ear infection, or swimmer’s ear, often occurs when water gets trapped in your ear canal, leading to a bacterial infection. Compacted wax can build up in your ear regardless of your age, but it typically occurs most commonly in elderly and special needs individuals, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians 2.

What to do if you have smelly ear wax?

In the event that your doctor can’t see your eardrum, she may need to use specialized tools and a microscope to manually remove the earwax that blocks the ear canal. Treatment varies, depending upon the cause of your odorous earwax but may include antibiotics and topical eardrops.

Why does my ear have a foul odor?

A sticky substance that helps preserve hearing by coating the ear canals, earwax typically possesses a distinctive, mild odor. Earwax that has an unusual or foul odor generally indicates a problem that could vary in severity from a mild buildup of wax to a potentially serious ruptured eardrum 3.

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