Earwax, although it looks icky, is a very functional substance secreted in the ear. Earwax lubricates the ear canal, helps to keep water out, protects the ear from bacteria and helps remove dirt and other foreign particles. In most cases, it is not necessary to remove earwax or to clean the ear canal at all. However, if excess earwax is causing a problem such as hearing impairment or interfering with a hearing aid, a simple baking soda ear drop solution may help.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 56.7gr warm water
- Ear dropper or medicine dropper
- Bottle or other sealable container
Add two ounces of warm water to the container. Drugstores actually sell dropper bottles which are ideal for this purpose, but any bottle or sealable container will do.
Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into the water thoroughly. The baking soda should be completely dissolved in the water. If it does not dissolve completely, try using warmer water.
Drop three to four drops of the solution into each ear using the dropper. Do this two times daily for up to seven days. It is not necessary to flush the solution from your ear unless it becomes bothersome.
Seal the container tightly to avoid evaporation of the solution. Before using it the next time, run hot water over the bottle for a minute or two to warm the solution. This will make the drops more comfortable to administer.
Discard any remaining solution and mix up a new batch if you wish to continue treatment beyond a week.
Tips and warnings
- Itching, pain and a ringing in the ears can all be an indication of excess ear wax.
- If you suffer from frequent ear infections, you should not use baking soda ear drops.
- The American Academy of Otolaryngology suggests that people should not attempt to clean their ears at home and should instead visit a doctor to have it done.
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