About the popping - it is possible that you might be hearing some pressure changes, in some cases this can be normal and in other it might be a symptom of something else. If you are still experiencing the symptoms, it might be better to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. You could also see and Audiologist that can evaluate the functioning of your middle ears. If you don't know of any of these specialists in your area, please let me know and i will gladly refer you (email@example.com). Remember that your hearing and balance are very important to the sport that you are doing, so rather make sure that all is in order.
Then about the wax - the colour of wax can be very different from person to person. It can range from almost white to almost black. Please refrain from using those cotton buds, you have a better chance of causing harm than getting benefit out of it.
Please let me know if you need any further information
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