My 6 month old daughter seems to have a lot of ear wax, more than my son did. Is this something to be concerned about or just keep picking it out as it comes? Kinda gross, I know.

Excessive ear wax production is not typically a problem. The body makes the wax (cerumen) to offer protection and a self-cleaning process for the ear canal. If there is more than needed, it just overflows out of the canal and causes the sticky yellow-brown mess that your daughter is experiencing. The most likely potential problem that could arise from higher wax production would be an accumulation that forms an impaction, or hard plug in the canal, which could cause pain or hearing difficulties until removed. This is especially likely when a cotton swab is used in an attempt to clean the ears, as it pushes wax further into the canal more than it can bring it out. The cotton tip can actually get stuck in a person’s canal and need to be removed in the office, and it can be a source of infection if that happens. Most of the parents who mention wax concerns to me in clinic are reassured when they hear that the eardrums are easily visible and the ear is functioning exactly as it should. If you have concerns, please voice them to your daughter’s pediatrician so that they can be sure to check her ears and answer any more questions you might have.

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