February 11, 2011,
H.A. asks from Colbert, WA on February 10, 2011
Need Advice: 8 Mo Weird Earwax and Eye spot...I Need Advice
Alright, my 8 mo has been digging at his right ear for a day or so. I clean his ears regularly (he enjoys it, he holds real still and actually wants to see the q-tip when I'm done) usually there is a little bit of yellow wax on the q-tip, but today, dark orange little chunks, kinda hard bits. I used 2 q-tips gently swabbing it before the dark orange gave way to light yellow.
I have dogs and am familiar with dog ear infections and the stink that comes with it. Because of this, I smelled my sons ear and, sure enough, there is a bit of a stink to it.
This is my first baby and I, honestly, have no idea what I'm doing. What is typical of an ear infection? Have any of you experienced this funky dark orange ear wax?
My son has his 8 month check up next Wednesday. Do you think I need to get him in before then?
Another kind of odd thing happened yesterday. My sons right eye was a little pink and upon closer inspection, there was a very tiny cream colored spot central to the pinkness. He isn't rubbing it, or favoring it or anything. It's only a tiny bit pink today and the cream colored spot is smaller---any idea?
Thanks in advance,
P.M. answers from Honolulu on February 10, 2011
Leave baby's ears alone momma! I know it's sooooo tempting to clean them, but what you are really doing with that q-tip is pushing the wax deeper into the ear canal which can cause blockages and make baby uncomfortable. If there is a smell (that's really noticeable) then odds are it's a yeast infection in the ear (yep, you can get one anywhere it's damp) Is baby going down with a bottle? (No judgement here, sometimes kids just demand it!) If so, some of the milk may be getting in his ears. I think you can wait until your appointment to have him looked at (unless it's keeping him up at night or he is just fussy all day)
As for the eye, you didn't say what area the spot is on but odds are it's just a little blocked duct. Put a warm washcloth on it for a few minutes and it may drain. If not, don't sweat it.
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K.H. answers from Denver on February 11, 2011
Stop using the qtips--your ears are supposed to have wax. just use a warm washcloth on the outside part of the ear.
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P.W. answers from San Francisco on February 10, 2011
Regarding the ear -- ear wax is always a little smelly. Smell anyone's ear with excess wax and you will smell something.
Be careful with the Q-tips, they are good sometimes but using them frequently can push the wax deeper in and cause an impacted buildup. When my kids were little I just always made sure they spent a few minutes lying down with their ears submerged in the warm, soapy tub, and that melted the ear wax away.
N.P. answers from Dayton on February 10, 2011
When my daughter had ear infections she would rub and pull at her ears. About the orange color I'm really not sure! follow your gut instinct about taking him to the doctor sooner or call the office and ask but it sounds like an ear infection!!! My daughter got them all the time.The tiny cream colored spots sounds like milk bumps to me. nothing serious at all but I'm not sure.I hope this helps!
E.T. answers from Denver on February 11, 2011
Orange ear wax is perfectly normal. My son used to get tons of orange ear earwax as infant. My mom, who had 5, said that several of us had orange ear wax as well. My son is almost 4 and has never (knock wood) had an ear infection, so I wouldn't be concerned unless your baby is showing other signs of an ear infection.
If a really big chunk had worked its way to his outer ear, I would very gently swab it away. Otherwise, treat like normal ear wax and ignore.
V.W. answers from Jacksonville on February 10, 2011
I think the color is fairly typical. My husband has very waxy ears. It is absurd how often he uses Qtips and how thickly they are covered with stuff. My son's ears are the same way. I use Qtips myself after every shower to get the water out of my ears (drives me crazy to feel water in them after a shower/shampoo).. and NEVER see ANY color on them. My daughter's ears are like mine. Son is 12, daughter is 9. My son has ALWAYS had an abundance of ear wax, and yes, often it is thicker and darker, almost orange/brown. My daughter... when she has wax... is lighter, oil colored.
I think that probably your son just is going to be a 'high producer', lol. And when it doesn't get softened and wash out (from a warm bath for instance, not from digging with a qtip) it can get thicker and darker.
Please try not to use anything to get it out. You can push it deeper and damage the eardrum. Believe me, I KNOW how tempting it is!! I have a son like that with LOTS of wax!! I can even SEE the little balls/chunks of it sometimes... Ask your doctor how to address this issue for your son. At MY son's age, I use Debrox in his ears. It is drops that you put in and let it sit for a few minutes, then he tips his head and lets it run out. It softens the wax, which also comes out, either then or when he showers.
Added: One additional thought that just occurred to me: Have you noticed any allergies in your son? I only ask b/c it just occurred to me that my husband has cat allergies, and my son has lots of environmental allergies (pollen, dust, mold, etc., but not animals). My daughter and I, who have almost no discernable ear wax, don't. Makes me wonder if there could be a possible connection?