Ear Wax Removal

Does your ear cause discomfort? Do you feel waxy, sticky kind of substance in your ears bothering you, and making you feel dizzy? Well!

Then you may have excessive ear wax production in your ears which is secreted from the cerumen glands present in the outer regions of the ear canal. Cerumen along with the combination of keratin present in the dead skin cells, sweat, and the skin oil or sebum is known to form the earwax. 

Impacted cerumen may sometimes improve on its own. But in most cases, you must consult a doctor even before trying home remedies. However certain home remedies may also help remove excess ear wax effectively.

But techniques performed at home like using a cotton swab or ear candling is not a recommended technique. Home remedies performed to remove the excessive ear wax may sometimes push the cerumen even more inside the ear canal leading to blockage.  

There are two types of earwax: 

  • Wet and 
  • Dry

The type of earwax is determined by its inheritance. Wet wax in the ear is usually in the people of Western Europe with 50% fat in it. Whereas, dry wax (20% of ear wax) is common among Asian people. 

Self-care home remedies to pull out that excessive ear wax from ears

Self-care home remedies can be an effective treatment in those people who don’t have a swimmer’s ear or a tube in their eardrum. There are 3 important steps which may help you to get rid of that excess earwax that’s blocking your ear canal:

  1. Making hard ear wax soft – Ear wax can be made soft by instilling a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil,  glycerin or hydrogen peroxide in your ear canal.
  2. Flush out excessive ear wax – Ear wax absorbs the oil and becomes soft. After this, the next step involves irrigating your ear with warm water. Use a rubber bulb syringe to gently squirt warm water into your ear canal. Tilt your head to the side to let the water drain out.
  3. Dry your ear canal- swab the excessive water out of the ear with the help of cotton or towel.

You can carry out these steps a few times a week in order to remove that excess wax from the ears.

Functions of Ear Wax

Ear wax occurs naturally in the ear and serves a variety of functions.

  1. The function of ear wax is to provide a protective coating directly over the skin inside the ear canal. 
  2. Ear wax helps in keeping the ears of an individual in a healthy condition. 
  3. Ear wax also possesses antifungal and antibacterial nature and protects the ears from catching an infection.
  4. Cerumen or ear wax acts as a water-resistant agent and thus protects the delicate skin of the ear canal from the environmental dirt and infection. 
  5. The external ear canal is under the process to clean itself from time to time by using a natural process. Ears are self-cleaning in nature– the ear wax in the ears is known to make its move in the ear canal during chewing or talking and thus cleans the debris inside the ear.

What causes an Excessive Buildup of earwax?

Most people tend to produce an excess of ear wax naturally that may cause temporary loss of hearing due to blockage in the ear canal. 

Some of the factors which can enhance the risk of building up of too much earwax include: 

  • Individuals having narrow or very hairy ear canals.
  • Accumulation of earwax for a prolonged period may dry the ear wax with an increase in age.
  • Growths of bones in the outer part of the ear canal 
  • Using cotton swabs, earplugs or hearing aids may push the earwax further into the ear causing blocked ear canal.

Also Read: Why do infection cause discharge in the Ear?

15 Home remedies for removal of wax from ears:

Excessive buildup of wax in your ear canal may cause discomfort and impair your hearing. Usually, it becomes harder to remove the hard or dry wax from your ears. However, softer ear wax can be cleaned easily. So, home remedies for removal of ear wax focus on making your hard ear wax soft so that it can be removed easily. Some of the ear wax removal home remedies are below:

  1. Oil

    Oil can soften your ear wax. Use an eyedropper and instill a few drops of baby oil, coconut oil, mineral oil, or hydrogen peroxide into your ear canal. Wait for 1- 2 hours and then flush it with warm water to experience a lighter and a wax limited ear. Oil helps the ear wax to ooze out of the ear canal in small concentrations by making it softer.  (Also Read: 7 Oils That Can Treat Ear Pain )

  2. Baking Soda

    Baking soda dissolved in a few drops of water and instilled into the ear with the help of a dropper can help flush out the excessive ear wax from your ears.

  3. Warm Water

    Irrigating your ear with warm water may dislodge the ear wax from your ear canal. Squirt a few ml of warm water into your ear with the help of a rubber bulb and allow the water to run on a towel or basin to notice some parts of excessive ear wax on your towel.

  4. Glycerine

    Glycerin helps lubricate the ear wax and make it soft. You can use it to dissolve the impacting earwax without causing any harm to the ears.

  5. Alcohol

    A mixture of alcohol and vinegar instilled into the ear can easily remove the earwax from your ears.

  6. Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil that constitutes medium-chain fatty acids is similar to sebum, which may help get rid of excessive earwax by absorbing the coconut oil.

  7. Almond oil

    Almond Oil is another lubricant that helps in the softening of the wax and assists in the elimination of earwax easily.

  8. Saline water
    Saline water is an effective remedy for ear wax removal which functions like
    medicating ear drops and doctors prescribe it commonly. Make a 9% NaCl solution by dissolving 9 grams of salt in water and instilling a few drops of this water into your ears. You can also buy this solution from the nearest pharmacist store.
  9. Paraffin 

    Paraffin oil can also be helpful in softening the earwax and its removal.

  10. Apply moisturizing lotion

    To avoid the excessive buildup of wax in your ears, you can apply moisturizing lotion on the upper part of the visible areas of the ear.

  11. Omega 3 -Fatty Acids

    Foods that are rich in omega 3- fatty acids can also help treat excessive earwax buildup. 

  12. Garlic Oil

    Someone who has pain due to excessive earwax buildup can use garlic oil. Allicin, a compound found in garlic, can help fight off bacteria and treat an ear infection. Garlic-soaked oil can be used for any type of ear infection.

  13. Olive oil

    To soften the hard wax, olive oil can be very useful. The oil acts on the hardened wax and makes it easy to remove. Virgin olive oil also possess strong antibacterial benefits.

  14. Apple Cider Vinegar

    Rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties, apple cider vinegar can kill harmful microbes inside the ear canal that are causing the infection.

  15. Mullein Oil

    Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, mullein oil can also be used to clean excessive earwax.

When to see a doctor

Excessive earwax is a very common problem and almost every individual experiences at some point in their lifetime. Excessive ear wax may cause:

  1. Impaired hearing due to slow passage of sound waves entering into the ear canal.
  2. Pain and heaviness in the ear.
  3. A foul smell coming from the inside of the ear.
  4. Itching and dizziness in most of the cases.
  5. If left untreated for a longer time, the impacted wax can result in the loss of hearing, poor ear function and may also lead to mild paranoia. 

Consult an ENT specialist if you think home remedies for ear wax removal are not helping you.

Also Read: 

FAQ

How to dissolve ear wax fast?
Putting oils inside the ear can dissolve stiff earwax faster that can be cleaned easily.
Will retracted eardrum fix itself?
No, a retracted eardrum requires surgery as a treatment option.
Can I massage the earwax out from my ear?
You cannot clean the ear by massaging it but you can loosen the earwax. Followed by cleaning it with olive oil and clean cloth

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