Sometimes people notice that there is a link between ear wax and ear infection. There are several reasons for this. Sometimes an ear infection can cause a discharge. This happens because the skin lining the ear becomes inflamed, swells and leaks fluid. This may rinse wax from the ear resulting in a yellowy orange waxy discharge. This may be combined with watery fluid, blood or pus.
The other main reason that wax may come out of your ear when you have an ear infection is because your ears get hot. The wax which has been in there for some time melts and runs out of your ear. This isn't a specific sign of an ear infection though. It can happen when you have a high temperature for any reason.
Sometimes people aren't sure whether they have wax or an infection. If you have an infection you are likely to have pain, discomfort, itching, soreness or redness. If you don't have any of these then it probably isn't an infection.
If you think you may have an ear infection or aren't sure you should definitely visit your GP. They will have a look in your ears and if there are signs they will give you drops or tablet antibiotics. Some mild ear infections will settle down on their own without treatment. This is particularly the case if your infection was set off by something in particular which can then be avoided. A good example would be swimming or bathing. Chlorine and soap in the ears can cause irritation which can lead to infection.
Wearing moulded ear plugs in the pool and bath or shower keeps water out and protects your ears. ZenPlugs from http://zenplugs.com/molded-earplugs/ are super comfortable and antibacterial so are an excellent choice. They are moulded to your ears so stay in, even during vigorous activity.
This article isn't a substitute for medical advice. Ensure you visit your doctor if you think you might have an ear infection.
Dr Toby Bateson