4 Reasons Your Child’s Earwax is Smelly

Ear Wax in Children

Earwax is a natural substance meant to keep your ears healthy. This waxy oil is produced in the ear canal to protect the ears from water, microorganisms, dust, and other foreign objects that may harm it.

If you notice that the wax in your child’s ear smells terrible, it indicates that something is wrong. Do not hesitate to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist in Colorado as soon as you can for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. In most cases, smelly earwax in your child indicates some other problems, such as the following:

Wax Buildup

When produced in normal amounts, any wax that is not needed will find its way out naturally, from where it is washed off. At times, though, there is excessive production. When there is too much wax in the ear, it causes a blockage. As a result, the buildup starts to smell. There could also be an infection. This is in addition to the patient experiencing hearing difficulties, pain, and drainage.


Ear infections are common among children. They may be bacterial or fungal. In addition, an ear infection may result from other illnesses that cause congestion of the Eustachian tubes, throat, and nasal passage. These include allergic reactions, cold, or flu.

The infections are painful, uncomfortable, and appear as swelling that is accompanied by inflammation and a smelly discharge. When they occur frequently, the persistent problems related to ear infections, such as frequent fluid emission, could lead to other complications like hearing issues.

Children's Ear Problems

Swimmers Ear

Swimmers ear is common in children who swim a lot. It is an infection affecting the ear canal and is caused by the accumulation of moisture. As a result, the skin breaks down, giving room for the proliferation of fungi and bacteria. A child with the condition will experience itch and pain. Other symptoms include swelling of the lymph nodes and pain while chewing. There is also likely to be some foul-smelling pus and temporary hearing problems.

Foreign Objects

Children are notorious for experimenting. They will regularly ingest things that they shouldn’t and put foreign objects such as tiny toys, beads, and seeds into their ears and nostrils. It is also possible for insects to get stuck inside their ears as they explore nature. With foreign objects inside the ear, a child could suffer a perforated eardrum or serious infections. These will then result in a bad odor.

Other symptoms that something could be stuck in the ears include swelling and discharge. If you suspect a foreign body inside the ear, it is recommended that you desist using cotton swabs or matchsticks to probe it out, as these could drive it in further. Remove the object only if you can see it clearly and if you are in a position to get it out without struggling. If not, let a specialist handle it.

If not treated on time, ear problems can escalate quite fast and cause permanent damage. When dealing with children, you can never be sure what the cause of smelly wax is. Have a specialist examine them when you notice a bad odor, discharge, wax buildup or swelling to avert further damage.

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