Although most individuals are taught that earwax should be cleaned out as part of the daily grooming routine, earwax is actually more helpful than harmful. It creates a protective layer between the ear and the eardrum, and the sticky substance catches any particles or foreign objects that would otherwise fall against the eardrum. Ear pressure is usually caused by earwax build-up, which is the only time you should clear earwax from your eardrum. If you are having trouble hearing, or are feeling a pain or pressure in your ear, you may need to clear your earwax, either yourself or by a professional.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Wax-dissolving ear drops
- At-home ear irrigation kit
- Prescription ear drops
Drip hydrogen peroxide in your ear. If you are feeling ear blockage, one of the easiest, inexpensive ways to clear your ear is by placing hydrogen peroxide in your ear with an eyedropper. You can purchase hydrogen peroxide at your local drugstore or grocery store. Tilt your head so your afflicted ear is facing the ceiling. With an eyedropper filled with hydrogen peroxide, gently place the eyedropper in your ear and squeeze the plunger. Stay still for five minutes. You will most likely hear bubbling in your ear. Hold your afflicted ear over the sink to remove the hydrogen peroxide.
Purchase wax-dissolving drops. You can purchase over-the-counter ear drops that will dissolve earwax at your local drugstore or online (see Resources). Always follow the directions on the bottle, but the average dose is two drops in the afflicted ear three times a day. Continue using these drops for several days to see if you experience any relief.
Flush out your ear with an at-home ear irrigation kit. Ear irrigation kits can be purchased at your local drugstore or online (see Resources). The kit usually comes with a saline liquid to squeeze into your ear and a syringe to load the liquid into. Depress the plunger or squeeze the bulb at the end of the apparatus to release a steady stream of liquid into your ear. After waiting about one minute, tilt your head over the sink to release earwax build-up and the source of your ear pressure. If any ear pressure remains, see a doctor.
Consult your doctor. Your doctor will use a professional ear irrigation kit to apply water pressure into your blockage. Usually he or she will hold a pan over your ear and continue to use water pressure until your blockage has been removed. You may experience some pain after your doctor does this procedure, but it should not last more than one day. Take two ibuprofen approximately every four hours to ease any pain.
Take prescription ear drops. Your doctor will probably prescribe prescription ear drops to prevent infection and further wax build-up. If you have finished your prescription and are still suffering with ear pressure, consult your doctor who will irrigate your ear again.
Tips and warnings
- Your doctor's irrigation kit will provide more water pressure than an at-home kit.
- Do not clean your inner ear with cotton swabs or other small tools.
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