October 7, 2022

The Ins and Outs of Safe Earwax Removal – AARP

Give your ears a gentle cleansing each day. The best approach: After washing your face or stepping out of a steamy shower, cover one finger with a damp washcloth and wipe around your outer ear. “De-clogging the most external exit will help with that natural migration,” Ying says.

People who tend to produce an abundance of earwax may try using a s…….

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Give your ears a gentle cleansing each day. The best approach: After washing your face or stepping out of a steamy shower, cover one finger with a damp washcloth and wipe around your outer ear. “De-clogging the most external exit will help with that natural migration,” Ying says.

People who tend to produce an abundance of earwax may try using a softening agent, to help the wax leave the ear or to remove it more easily. If you prefer to go the natural route, try baby oil or mineral oil. Using an eyedropper, apply a drop or two into your ear, tilting your head so that the opening of the ear is pointing up toward the ceiling. Stay in that position for a minute or two to let the fluid flow down to the waxy buildup. Then tilt your head in the opposite direction to let the fluid and wax drain.

Or try an over-the-counter product to loosen small amounts of wax. These solutions may contain oil or hydrogen peroxide. (Ying recommends the Debrox Earwax Removal Kit.) Some include a bulb syringe that you squeeze to flush your ear with warm water, if needed. Irrigation, however, isn’t always appropriate, particularly if you have a damaged eardrum or a middle ear infection. “You’re doing it blind,” says Ying. “You go, ‘Let me go in a little bit deeper,’ but you have no way to gauge that. What’s more, if you get it into the ear canal and it doesn’t come out, it can create a moist environment, and that can lead to an outer ear infection.”

It might be tempting to poke a cotton swab, bobby pin, pencil or finger into your ear to get the gunk out, but don’t go digging. Yes, it’ll remove some of the wax, but it may also push the rest deeper into the ear canal. There’s also a risk of injuring the eardrum. “You might look at your Q-tip and think, Look at this stuff I got out of my ear,” says Vaughan, who has seen plenty of this “pushy” behavior in his practice. “But that’s actually wax you got from the sides of the ear canal, after you’ve pushed most of the wax further inside the ear canal.”

When to get medical help

You’ll need assistance to remove a blockage. If the …….

Source: https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/safe-earwax-removal.html