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Earwax Removal Home Remedies

Chandramita Bora
Earwax is a sticky, yellowish substance produced by the wax glands of the ear canal to protect it from dust, dirt, bacteria and virus. But on the flip side, excessive earwax can cause blockage of the ear canal, eventually leading to many problems.

Have You Heard?

Earbuds may well be the culprit to your budding ear troubles. They are known to spring clean the ear canal. But ironically, they are not known for clogging your ear. All they do is crunching the earwax further into the canal inadvertently landing a blocked ear; an overture of a kind to earaches and eventual hearing loss. It's time you nip the bud in the bud!
Earwax is not a dirty substance, as assumed by many of us. It is actually produced by the ceruminous or wax glands of the auditory canal to serve some essential purposes. Firstly, it moistens the insides of the ear canal and thereby prevents irritation of the skin.
Secondly, it has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and so protects the ear from any kind of infection that can be caused by bacteria and fungi. Due to its stickiness, it prevents the entry of substances such as dust, dirt, pollen, etc., deeper into the ear canal.
Therefore, experts suggest that earwax or cerumen should not be removed unless problems like temporary hearing loss, etc., are caused by wax buildup.
Earwax is mainly of two types; dry cerumen (gray-colored flakes) and wet cerumen (moist and dark brown or yellow in color).

Removing dry wax can be a bit difficult as compared to the wet one, as it has to be softened before any cleaning can be done.

Home Remedies

Hydrogen Peroxide

The use of hydrogen peroxide is often claimed by many as the safest home remedy for earwax cleaning.
  • For this, you need to apply just 2 to 3 drops of hydrogen peroxide inside the ear canal.
  • You might feel a bubbly and foam-like sensation in the ear. Allow the bubbling to stop on its own, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Then tilt your head to the other side to let it flow out of the ear. Hydrogen peroxide helps in dissolving the earwax, making it easier to flush out.
  • After three days, you need to pour some warm water into the ear to flush out the earwax.
  • This can be done with the help of a bulb syringe (an earwax removal tool), and by squirting water inside the ear. Then tilt your head to the other side to drain out the water completely.
  • Finally, soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and squeeze it to pour a few drops into the ear, and again drain it out. This will help in drying the ear canal completely.
Note.- This method should never be used for a sensitive ear canal. Also, make sure that your eardrums are not perforated, before applying hydrogen peroxide.

Paraffin/Mineral Oil

Paraffin or mineral oil can be used for removing excess earwax, as it dissolves and softens the wax.
  • Just warm a small amount of paraffin or mineral oil, and then lie down and put a few drops into the ear canal.
  • After a while, let the paraffin come out of your ear by bending the head to one side, and clean it with a soft cotton cloth.
  • Repeat the process for a few days to soften the wax, which then can be easily flushed out by using some warm water in the same way as has been explained above.

Alternate Method

Besides the aforementioned methods, here are a few more ones that may be deemed helpful.
  • You can also rinse the ear with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. Applying this would help restore the natural pH of the ear canal, which is slightly acidic.
  • In place of paraffin and mineral oil, you can also use olive or baby oil, by following the same procedure.
  • Many people also prefer the use of sea water spray for daily ear cleaning.
Excessive production of cerumen can cause buildup and impacted earwax. This can cause pain, tinnitus (a ringing sensation in the ear), and temporary loss of hearing.
Therefore, if you experience a hearing problem and pain due to the accumulated earwax, then it is better to visit a physician before trying out remedies. Also, always follow the instructions of your physician regarding proper cleaning and removal of earwax.
Disclaimer: This Story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for medical advice.