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3 ways to remove ear wax

Excess ear wax can cause a very uncomfortable sensation, especially as it decreases your hearing ability. The best way to avoid this problem is to clean the inner ear every day with a towel, as the wax is naturally pushed out of the ear canal and removed by the towel, not accumulating in the ear canal.

In addition, the use of cotton buds to clean the ear is not recommended as they end up pushing the wax to the bottom of the ear canal, worsening the symptoms and preventing it from being removed without the aid of an otolaryngologist. So, people who have always used cotton swabs and who are suffering from a stuffy ear should see an otolaryngologist for a proper cleaning.

Still, there are some other homemade methods for removing excess ear wax:

1. Medication to remove ear wax

3 ways to remove ear wax

Cerumin medication is the most commonly used for softening ear wax, making it easier to be removes. This medication can be purchased at any pharmacy without a prescription, but it should only be used under medical indication because it should not be used if there is an ear infection, which manifests with an earache, fever and bad smell in this region, if there is pus.

2. Apply drops of mineral oil

3 ways to remove ear wax

A simple, safe and natural way to remove earwax is to apply 2 or 3 drops of a mineral oil such as sweet almond oil, avocado oil or even olive oil to the ear canal 2 or 3 times, all days for 2 to 3 weeks.

This method can help to soften ear wax naturally and facilitates its removal over the days.

3. Ear irrigation

3 ways to remove ear wax

Another excellent way to get earwax very effectively is to do an ear irrigation at home with a bulb syringe. For this you must follow the step-by-step below:

  1. Turn the ear upwards;
  2. Grasp the top of the ear by pulling it upwards;
  3. Place the tip of the syringe into the ear inlet without pushing it in;
  4. Squeeze the syringe slightly and pour a small jet of warm water into the ear;
  5. Leave the water in the ear for 60 seconds;
  6. Turning your head sideways and letting the dirty water out, if the wax is coming out you can try to pick it up with tweezers, but be careful not to push the wax in and not to damage the ear canal;
  7. Dry the ear with a soft towel or a hair dryer.

If it is not possible to remove ear wax after 3 attempts, it is recommended you go to the otolaryngologist for professional cleaning because this doctor has the necessary equipment to visualize the inside of the ear canal and to remove the wax safely and efficiently.

4. How to draw wax with a Chinese cone

3 ways to remove ear wax

Traditional Chinese medicine therapists are the best people to use the cone to remove wax from the ear. This ancient technique is used in China, but should not be attempted at home because of the risk of getting burnt.

The treatment consists of lying on the side with the ear that will be treated upwards. The therapist will light the cone with fire and will place it inside the ear of the person. As the heat builds up the wax will melt and stick around inside the cone. The treatment time lasts about 15 minutes and during this time the person may feel the ear heating up and as a side effect headache may appear. This treatment can only be done in adults and adolescents and is not recommended for children under 12 years of age.

Why you should not use cotton swabs

It is not recommended you use cotton buds or other sharp objects such as a pen cap, paper clip or a key to try to remove ear wax because the swab is too large and pushes excess wax into the ear canal and because other objects can puncture the eardrum, causing infections or even hearing loss.

Bibliography >

  • COLEFORD HEALTH CENTRE - NHS. Blocked ears (wax) self-care guidelines for patients. . Access in 13 Sep 2019
  • HEALTHLINE. How to Safely Remove Hard, Dry Earwax. Available on: <https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-earwax>. Access in 13 Sep 2019
  • MEDICAL NEWS TODAY. How to remove earwax at home. Available on: <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322247.php>. Access in 13 Sep 2019
  • PROKOP-PRIGGE, Katharine A. et al. Identification of volatile organic compounds in human cerumen. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. Vol. 953-954. 48-52, 2014
  • HARVARD HEALTH PUBLISHING. Got an ear full? Here's some advice. 2018. Available on: <https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/got-an-ear-full>. Access in 13 Nov 2019
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