Eating Earwax: What will Happen?

Short Answer: If you accidentally ate earwax, you would most likely not get sick, but you might feel nauseous or uncomfortable due to its bitter taste and irritating effect on the digestive tract.

Earwax is a waxy substance that is produced by glands in the ear canal to protect and lubricate the skin inside the ears.

It helps prevent foreign objects, such as dust, dirt, or even a bug, from reaching the eardrum.

Earwax also contains dead skin cells, hair, and various substances, such as keratin, cholesterol, fatty acids, squalene, and alcohol esters.

If you accidentally eat earwax, you will most likely not experience any serious harm or illness.

Earwax is not toxic or poisonous, and it does not contain any harmful bacteria or viruses.

However, eating earwax may cause some unpleasant effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.

This is because earwax has a bitter and unpleasant taste, and it may irritate the lining of the digestive tract.

Earwax contains squalene, which is a natural antioxidant that can protect the skin from damage and aging.

Squalene can also lower cholesterol levels and improve immune system function.

However, the amount of squalene in earwax is very small, and it is unlikely to have any significant benefits if ingested.

It is quite uncommon to eat earwax on purpose, as most people find it disgusting and unappealing.

However, some people may have a psychological condition called pica, which is a compulsive desire to eat non-food items, such as dirt, clay, paper, or earwax.

Pica can be caused by nutritional deficiencies, mental disorders, or stress.

People with pica may need professional help to overcome their abnormal eating habits.

You can try to rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth if you accidentally eat earwax and feel nauseous or uncomfortable.

If you experience severe or persistent symptoms, such as vomiting, fever, or abdominal pain, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

You may have an infection or an allergic reaction to something in the earwax.

To avoid accidental eating of earwax, you should not put your fingers or any other objects in your ears.

This can also damage your ear canal or eardrum, and push the earwax deeper into your ears.

You should also not use cotton swabs, ear candles, or other methods to remove earwax, as they can cause more harm than good.

The best way to clean your ears is to let them do it naturally, or to visit a healthcare provider if you have excessive or impacted earwax.

Finally, remember, earwax is a normal and healthy part of your ears, and it does not need to be removed unless it causes problems, such as hearing loss, earache, or infection.

Eating earwax is not dangerous, but it is not recommended either.

You should always practice good hygiene and take care of your ears.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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