Particularly during the spring months, when it’s warm enough for ear wax to flow, but cool enough it gets congealed in your ear, knowing how to safely remove ear wax is important. It’s not the most pleasant topic to talk about, but removing ear wax can help you hear better, and help keep your ears safer by helping to prevent infection. My son has had frequent ear infections as a child, so I have learned over the years, both from our pediatrician and personal experience, how to properly clean ears and remove earwax without damaging the ear.
Not All Ear Wax Removal Methods Work or Are Safe
Unfortunately, too many people use dangerous or improper methods to remove ear wax, and are risking damage to the ear, eardrum, or can actually help infections get worse. This article will talk about how to remove ear wax safely while also warning about some ear wax removal dangers to avoid.
First, keep in mind that a little ear wax is necessary, because it keeps bacteria, debris and other bad things from entering the ear, so removing earwax too frequently can be dangerous too.
The most important thing to do to help prevent ear wax buildup and remove ear wax safely is to be certain to wash the exterior part of the ear at least once daily. While in the shower or bath, be sure to include your ears as a required part of your body to wash.
When in the shower, you can turn your head to the side and allow the warm (but not too hot) water to spray into the ear. Hold your ear under the water spray for 1-2 minutes, and this will naturally help loosen any ear wax and let it run from the ear. Do this for both ears to remove ear wax that’s built up during the day.
If you are in the tub, sliding down under the warm water and allow it to penetrate into your ears for 1-2 minutes and then rinsing the ear out afterward can help rinse out ear wax.
Using a Q-tip or a cotton swab, gently cleanse around the outside of the ear. Be certain not to place the cotton swab stick too far inside the ear canal. This can damage the tender eardrum and might actually push congealed ear wax farther into the ear canal.
Alternative Ear Wax Removal Home Remedies
Injecting warm water into the ear canal, while the head is on its side so the ear is positioned up, and then letter the warm water sit in the ear canal for 1-2 minutes can soften and loosen the ear wax. Then, lift the ear and let it drain onto a towel. Holding the towel under the ear, squirt the water into the ear canal again, flushing it and letting the wax and water flow from the ear.
Candling is a dangerous form of ear wax removal, and while the theory of candling appears logically sound, any ear wax removal advice that involves using a lit candle should be avoided completed.
If ear wax is hard or impacted, using a mixture of warm to lukewarm vinegar with a hydrogen peroxide mixture and injecting it in the ear the same was the water method is used can help remove ear wax from the ear. Rinse with lukewarm water to remove any leftover ear wax and solution.
Over-the-counter kits to remove ear wax can be purchased and the instructions for removing ear wax can be followed. If you have any doubts, ask the pharmacist at your local drug store what he or she recommends.
Remove Ear Wax at the Doctor’s Office
If ear wax removal methods above do not work, and the ear wax buildup becomes problematic or causes any hearing loss, you should see your doctor to get the ear wax mechanically removed. This procedure is noninvasive and is usually completely pain free.
Taking care of your ear health is the best way to ensure good hearing and healthy ears for the rest of your lifetime.