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Child has yellow sticky ear wax, ear from inside looks brown. Serious?

When I cleaned my 3 yr old s ear out yesterday he had ALOT of thick yellow stinky ear wax in it. He wasn t saying it hurt at all but when I noticed him scratching it alittle I decided to clean it out. I got all the wax out, I think, but when I look in his ear (at what I think is the ear drum) it looks kinda brown looking. He says it don t hurt unless I put a finger in it or a swab so I don t think it is hurting him on any regular basis. Should I just give it a few days and see if it will drain now or should I be worried it is an infection because of the smell?
Asked On : Thu, 31 Jan 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  161
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Emergency Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Ear wax is very common in children. The brown area which you are seeing on his eardrum may just be impacted ear wax. However, since it is excessive and foul-smelling, it could indicate an infection also.

So, I think it is safer to have him examined by a doctor, to rule out any infection. Other symptoms which you should be watching out for are fever or chills, ear pain or discomfort or neck lymph node enlargement.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Sheeba Stephen
Emergency Medicine Specialist
Answered: Thu, 31 Jan 2013
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