General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

[Kind of Gross] When I use a q-tip to clean my ears, I notice that gunky reside from the left ear is always darker and dirtier than the right. Is that from driving with the windows open?

Asked by elbanditoroso (30570points) 4 weeks ago

In the US. the driver’s seat is on the left and I often drive with the windows open.

Is it likely that tiny dirt particles are flying into my left ear (moreso than my right), causing darker wax accumulation?

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12 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

It could be but doubtful. I’d have to ask if the darker ear wax is the ear you sleep on more regularly, which is a common factor.

“the left is that you favor sleeping with the right side of your head against the pillow. Air keeps the left ear dry and gives wax a chance to dry up and disappear; moisture and heat created with your ear against the pillow favor a wax buildup in your right ear canal.”

JLeslie's avatar

I think sleeping also. @KNOWITALL stole my thunder.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Hmm, interesting. I always start sleeping on my left side (left ear down) and I alwayus wake up on my back.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Sorry sister, I’m intrigued by anything medical. :)

@elbanditoroso Just curious, how do you clean your ears? I had a lot of ear infections as a child in one ear and generally use tissue to lightly clean the canal. If you use Q-tips, you could actually be making it worse and impacting the wax.
Also, change your pillow cases more often, it may help.

*Ear wax softener is at most pharmacies, you could get a bottle and see if that helps clean it. That’s what the ER recommended for my husband last time his was impacted and sore.

Caravanfan's avatar

Don’t us a q tip to clean your ears.

raum's avatar

When I eat dairy, I get lots of wax in my left ear. I’m assuming it’s from the way I sleep. (Ear was can be an allergic reaction to certain foods.)

rebbel's avatar

Possibly your left ear is your dominant one.

kritiper's avatar

Maybe that side is darker because it gets more airflow and therefore drier.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@raum Mine are during allergy season, spring and fall.

Brian1946's avatar


Do you sleep on your left side?

raum's avatar

@KNOWITALL Makes sense. Allergy seasons are so annoying. Before I developed allergies, I thought it was just spring. Then when I started developing them, I was like “WTF? There’s two allergy seasons?!”

@Brian1946 I usually fall asleep on my right side. But wake up on my left. Guessing majority on my left?

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