Wax is a natural substance that helps protect the ear and ear canal, but sometimes it builds up and causes problems or discomfort. If you have serious symptoms such as tinnitus, difficulty hearing or dizziness, see a doctor as it could be an ear infection or something more serious. However, for a simple cleaning, you can remove excess wax yourself with harmless products such as saline solution, hydrogen peroxide or mineral oil. Either way, always be careful when dealing with your ears so that you don't end up making the situation worse.
Method 1 of 3: Using Liquid Solutions
Step 1. Wash your ears with a saline solution
Saline solution is gentle and effective in removing wax. Soak a cotton swab in the solution, turn the affected ear upside down, and squeeze the cotton to drip a few drops. Leave your head tilted for about a minute, waiting for the solution to penetrate, then turn your head away to let the liquid run out.
- Gently dry the outer ear with a towel after you finish.
- You can buy a ready-made saline solution at a pharmacy or make a homemade version with 4 cups (960 ml) of filtered water and 2 teaspoons (10 g) of non-iodized salt. It is possible to use tap water in place of filtered water, but it must be boiled for at least 20 minutes and must be allowed to cool before use.
- If the wax is too hard and compacted, make it softer first with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, mineral oil, or a remedy to remove earwax.
use the solution at a temperature very close to body temperature. If it's cooler or warmer, you may get dizzy.
Step 2. Soften the hardest-to-remove ear wax with hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide has the additional advantage of being able to dissolve hardened wax. To clean your ears, dip a clean cotton swab into a mixture of one measure of water and one measure of hydrogen peroxide. You can also drop a few drops with a dropper or syringe. Tilt your head to bring the affected ear up and add three to five drops of hydrogen peroxide. Wait five minutes and then turn your ear down, letting the liquid run out.
- If desired, rinse with water or saline solution.
- You can use this solution two or three times a day for up to a week. If you experience pain or experience any local irritation, discontinue use and consult a physician.
Step 3. Try mineral oil in place of hydrogen peroxide
Like it, mineral oil can help soften the wax, making it easier to remove. Use an eyedropper to put two to three drops of the substance into the ear and let the ear face up for two or three minutes so the oil can work. Finally, turn your head to the other side and let the liquid drain.
- A third option is to use glycerin.
- It is best to use the oil to soften the wax before washing the ear with saline solution.
Step 4. Use alcohol and white vinegar to dry ear moisture
A solution of alcohol and white vinegar can help clean and dry excess moisture from the ears, which can cause irritation and infections. Mix 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of white vinegar with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of alcohol in a clean cup. Then drop six or eight drops of this mixture with an eyedropper into the ear, which should be facing upwards. Allow the solution to enter the ear canal and turn your head so that it drains.
If your ears are always moist, use this solution twice a week for a few months if your doctor recommends it. However, discontinue use and consult a physician in case of irritation or bleeding
Method 2 of 3: Getting a Diagnosis and Treatment
Step 1. See a doctor if you have clogged ears
Do you think the wax production is excessive? Make an appointment with an ENT. He can safely remove the wax and see if the symptom does not indicate more serious problems. Go to the doctor if you have signs such as:
- Sensation of obstruction.
- Difficulty listening.
- Cough without explanation.
Did you know?
Hearing aids can stimulate the production of wax, which excess can in turn damage the item. If you use one of these, check with your ENT frequently to check for excessive wax buildup.
Step 2. Ask the doctor to rule out an infection or other illness
If you have an ear infection or an injury that is causing your symptoms, it's important to get the correct diagnosis and proper treatment to avoid major problems. Also, with an infection or other problem (such as a damaged eardrum), cleaning your ears is dangerous.
- If it's an ear infection, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. You should not put liquids or objects (such as cotton swabs) into the infected ear unless directed by your doctor.
- Do not attempt to clean the wax yourself if there is a damage to the eardrum or an object stuck in the ear.
Step 3. Talk to the doctor about an in-office wash
Do you have a lot of wax and don't want to take it off at home? The ENT can perform a common procedure in the office, washing. It doesn't cost anything to ask, but he can tell you if that's the case.
He can also prescribe a locally applied medicine. Please read the package insert carefully as some products can irritate the eardrums and ear canals if used incorrectly
Method 3 of 3: Avoiding Common Mistakes
Step 1. Use cotton swabs for surface cleaning only
The cotton swab can only be used in the outer ear to remove superficial wax, but "not" in the ear canal. The tissue in the ear canal is extremely delicate and it is easy to damage tissues near the tympanic membrane.
The cotton swab can also push the wax to the back of the ear, causing possible obstruction, damage, or irritation
Step 2. Never use candles
This is a procedure that involves placing a conical object in the ear and lighting a candle in the opening of the cone. Supposedly, it creates a vacuum that extracts wax and impurities from the ear. In addition to not being effective, the technique can also cause various types of injuries and ear problems, such as:
- Eardrum perforation.
- Burns to the face, hair, scalp or ear canal.
Improper use of cotton swabs and candles can further push the wax into the ear canal, causing a blockage.
Step 3. Do not spray liquid into the ear forcefully
A doctor can do this, but you shouldn't. Fluids splashed into the ear canal can penetrate the tympanic membrane and cause inner ear infections or damage.
- Whenever you wash the area, use an eyedropper, a cotton swab or a syringe to gently introduce the liquid.
- Never add any liquid if your eardrum is punctured or if you have ventilation tubes in your ears.
- Only use gout medicines with the recommendation or prescription.
- Do not push the swabs into the ear or into the narrow entrance of the ear canal. They can damage the eardrum if the wax or if the swab itself ends up at the back of the ear, inside the eardrum.
- After a week of home treatment do your ears still feel waxy? See a doctor.
- Do not poke your ears as your hands may be contaminated with bacteria, which increases the risk of infections.