Ear wax is a sticky liquid secreted by the cerumen glands in the ear canal. Wax prevents foreign particles from entering your ear. However, ear wax can build up inside the ear canal and cause hearing loss, pain or ringing in your ears. There are numerous home remedies to treat excess ear wax, such as using non-prescription ear drops. Serious cases of wax blockage should be handled by a doctor.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Baby oil
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Wax-removing ear drops
- Rubber-bulb syringe
Soften the ear wax. Place 3 to 4 drops of baby oil, hydrogen peroxide or wax-removing ear drops into your ear to soften the wax blockage. Repeat for three to four days. The wax in your ear should clear up and filter out of your ear on its own.
Irrigate your ear canal with a mixture of warm water and hydrogen peroxide. Mix equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide into a bowl. Hold your head upright and use a rubber syringe to squirt the mixture into your ear. Tip your head over a sink and allow the mixture to drain from your ear. Repeat the process several times to remove the wax blockage.
Dry your ears to prevent infection. Once you have irrigated your ears, use a hairdryer on a low setting to dry them out. Alternately, place a couple drops of rubbing alcohol into your ears.
Visit your doctor. If your ear wax continues to bother you, ask your doctor to clean out your ears. Your doctor may suction out your ear canal or remove the wax with a small device called a curette.
Tips and warnings
- Wax-removing ear drops are available over-the-counter at your local chemist.
- Do not stick any objects into your ear to remove your ear wax, including cotton swabs. Using these instruments may lead to an ear infection or eardrum damage.
- Do not use ear candles to remove your ear wax; The American Academy of Otolaryngology advises against using ear candles (see Resources).
- Do not attempt to remove your ear wax if you have a perforated eardrum. Symptoms of a perforated eardrum include: bloody or puslike discharge and pain inside the ears. See your doctor immediately if you suffer from these symptoms.
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