What are the Best Tips for Clearing Ear Wax?

Meshell Powell

Ear wax buildup is a common concern for a lot of people. However, many people do not realize that a certain amount of wax in the ears is actually healthy, as it helps to protect the ears from things such as dirt, bugs, and infection. A common method of clearing ear wax involves the use of cotton swabs. While this method may remove some of the wax from the ear, it also tends to push the wax further into the ear, causing a blockage that often leads to pain, infection, or even loss of hearing. There are much safer methods of clearing ear wax available, such as heat therapy or using an ear wax dissolver, which can be found in almost any drug store.

A doctor may need to be consulted if ear wax cannot be cleared at home.
A doctor may need to be consulted if ear wax cannot be cleared at home.

Heat therapy can work to soften the ear wax, making it easier to dissolve and clear out. The best way of clearing ear wax using this method is to fill a bottle, such as a hot water bottle, full of warm water. The patient should then lie down with the affected ear situated directly against the bottle. Within a few moments, the wax will begin to melt, making removal much safer and easier than trying to remove a hardened clump of wax.

A hot water bottle may be placed against the ear to help melt ear wax and prepare it for removal.
A hot water bottle may be placed against the ear to help melt ear wax and prepare it for removal.

Most drug stores sell a variety of products designed for clearing ear wax. Most of these products use a chemical known as carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient and are generally equally effective independent of brand name or price. This ingredient often works to dissolve ear wax as long as the directions are followed carefully. If there has been no significant improvement after using this type of product for a few days, it may be wise to consult a physician. If there is a blockage caused by the excess wax in the ear, permanent damage, including hearing loss, may occur if not treated properly.

A certain amount of ear wax is important for ear health.
A certain amount of ear wax is important for ear health.

Sometimes, despite the best efforts of the patient, clearing ear wax at home just is not possible. Most doctors are skilled and experienced at clearing ear wax, and the process generally does not take very long. Some doctors use a device that squirts a thin stream of water into the ear, dissolving the ear wax buildup. Others use an instrument that gently and safely scoops out the excess wax buildup without causing damage to the inner portion of the ear. Still another medical device used for clearing ear wax somewhat resembles a small vacuum that uses gentle suction to remove the excess wax.

Ear wax blockage may cause ear pain.
Ear wax blockage may cause ear pain.
Too little ear wax may cause an individual to be more prone to infection.
Too little ear wax may cause an individual to be more prone to infection.
Cotton swabs should not be used to remove ear wax.
Cotton swabs should not be used to remove ear wax.
An excess amount of ear wax can cause blockages that lead to partial or total hearing loss.
An excess amount of ear wax can cause blockages that lead to partial or total hearing loss.
Ear wax helps protect the ears from infection.
Ear wax helps protect the ears from infection.
Ear wax is believed to protect the eardrum from exposure to dust and antimicrobial particles.
Ear wax is believed to protect the eardrum from exposure to dust and antimicrobial particles.

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Discussion Comments

anon305364

Use enough oil and then keep rinsing your ears with hydrogen peroxide, water, etc. until most or all the wax is removed. That is what I do, and I always feel better every time I rinse my ears.

anon278146

Vegans do not get ear wax.

anon274516

Irrclear is an effective and safe earwax irrigation system that uses warm water and a soft, non-latex tip and syringe.

pastanaga

I just want to point out that there is nothing wrong with having excessive ear wax. I've got it, and I know that it's all entirely controlled by genetics. You aren't doing anything wrong if you have this problem.

Equally, there is no cure for it, you just have to control it by removing the wax. And you do have to control it, because if you get impacted ear wax, removal becomes more difficult and you are putting your ear drums in danger.

So, learn how to remove it at home as much as you can, so that you don't have to risk your hearing.

We all lose our hearing over time to loud rock concerts and lawnmowers anyway, you might as well conserve as much as you can.

Mor

Instead of going to a doctor you might want to consider going to an audiologist.

This is a person who is an expert on ears, in the same way an optometrist is an expert on eyes. They can't do surgery on your ears, but they can easily remove wax for you and it will probably cost less than going to see a doctor.

I notice they often run specials as well. If you need some ear wax removal on a relatively regular basis I think you should consider this option. They will often also recommend things you can do at home to remove ear wax.

I have a couple of family members with excessive ear wax and they go whenever they need to which ends up being a couple of times a year or so.

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