How many times do you reach a cotton swab to clean your ears? Actually, we do not use a cotton swab to remove ear wax. All they do is remove the normal healthy wax that is coating the skin of the ear canal and push inward any lumps of wax you want to remove. According to Brodie, removing earwax with cotton swabs will be able to increase the risk of wax becoming trapped deep inside the ear canal. So, how to remove stubborn earwax? Find that information in the following text.
Removing Stubborn Ear Wax at Home
Ear wax is a fatty substance produced in our ear canal. Medically, ear wax is known as cerumen. It cleans your ears, protects them from infection, and lubricates our ear canal to stop it from becoming too dry. Usually, ear wax will dry up and fall out of our ear over time. But several people produce more than necessary, and the excess will be able to accumulate in the ear canal and cause buildup or blockage. It is known as impacted ear wax.
Here are some methods to remove stubborn ear wax at home:
Method 1: Use Ear Drops
Ear drops are liquid solutions which help soften, thin, break up, or dissolve ear wax, so it will be able to leave the ear. Ear drop is also known scientifically as cerumenolytic agents. They are available over the counter. For your information, common name-brand ear drops include Debrox, Similasan and Hylands. Usually, it is highly recommended to use up to five drops at a time, one to two times daily, or for three to seven days.
Here are steps to use ear drops to remove ear wax:
- At the first step, you are able to check the label first to see how many drops are required.
- Ensure you rinse the soap off and dry your hands completely to avoid getting soap and water into your ear.
- Then, you are able to remove the dropper from the bottle carefully. Please be sure the plastic part of the dropper does not touch anything.
- Please lie on your side or back with the impacted ear facing upward.
- Now, you are able to put the correct number of drops into your ear, according to the instructions.
- Please gently pull the earlobe up and down to allow the drops to run into your ear.
- You have to remain lying down with the infected ear upward, according to how long the instructions say, which is typically two up to five minutes.
Lin says that ear drops will work immediately after use, although they may need several tries to remove stubborn ear wax. While there is limited published evidence on the effectiveness of drops, a study suggests that utilizing them for five days is better than no treatment at all.
Method 2: Use Oil
Besides using ear drops, there are other ways you can remove stubborn ear wax at home. It is by using natural substances, even though they will likely take longer to work than ear drops. Oils, such as coconut oil, baby oil, mineral oil, olive oil, or glycerin can be used to soften and remove ear wax.
Here is how to do that:
- At the first step, you are able to apply the oil. Please tilt your head to the side. Then, apply a few drops of your oil of choice into the ear canal using an eyedropper or dropper bottle.
- Please drain it out by using warm water. After a day or two days, when the ear wax is softened, you are able to use a rubber-bulb syringe to squirt warm water into your ear canal gently. Again, tilt your head and pull your outer ear up and back to straighten your ear canal. After finishing irrigating, you have to tip your head to the side to let the water drain out.
- Now, you need to dry your ear canal. Use a towel or hair-dryer on low or no heat to dry your ear canal gently.
- Please repeat, if necessary. You are able to try this method several times every few days until the excess ear wax is removed.
Method 3: Use a Baking Soda Solution
Also, you will be able to remove ear wax with a baking soda solution. Here is a way to remove ear wax with a baking soda solution.
- At the first step, you have to make the baking soda solution. Please dissolve half a teaspoon of baking soda in warm water. If you have a dropper bottle, you are able to pour the solution into it.
- Now, you are able to apply it to your ears. Please tilt your head to the side. Using an eyedropper or dropper bottle, simply you are able to drop five up to ten drops of the solution into your ear.
- You have to drain it out using warm water. After around an hour or so, when the ear wax is softened, you are able to use a rubber-bulb syringe to squirt warm water into your ear canal gently. Please tilt your head and pull your outer ear up and back to straighten your ear canal. After finishing irrigating, you are able to tip your head to the side to let the water drain out.
- In this step, you need to dry your ear canal. Use a towel or hair-dryer on low or no heat to dry your ear canal.
- You are able to repeat if necessary. You will be able to try this method once a day until the ear wax clears up, however for no longer than two weeks. It will clear up within a few days.
Warning: It is important to note that sometimes these natural softening agents can have adverse effects, because they may just loosen the outer layer of the wax, which can then lodge deeper into the ear canal.
If your impacted ear wax symptoms do not improve after using those methods above for a week or two, we highly suggest you check in with your healthcare provider.