Did you know that treating your hearing loss may be as simple as using different ear wax removal methods? Over time ear wax can become impacted and press against the eardrum to impact your hearing. To help you find ways to safely remove ear wax, the team at North Shore Hearing P.C. has outlined a few different ear wax removal methods. Continue reading to learn more about ear wax and different ear wax removal methods that are safe.
What Is Ear Wax?
Ear wax is a naturally produced substance designed to protect the canal of the ear. It’s a blend of debris, hair, sweat, and skin held together with a fluid secreted by glands in the ear. Ear wax works to:
- Protect the ear canal from infection
- Keep ears clean
- Filter dust
In most instances, ear wax is a liquid that will naturally drain and not cause any complications. When the skin in your ear canal sheds, the ear wax moves to the outer parts of the ear and should drain. Ear wax can range in color spanning from orange to brown. In children, ear wax is typically lighter and softer than adult ear wax.
How Can Ear Wax Cause Problems?
Unless the ear wax is pushed into the ear, it will normally only exist in the outer part of the ear canal. Yet, the ear canal can become impacted or blocked if you attempt to clean the ear with a finger, bobby pins, cotton swabs, or other foreign objects that push the wax deep into the canal. Once impacted, the ear wax can lead to hearing loss as well as other problems, including:
If you choose to poke at the ear wax with an object it can even push the wax against the eardrum.
3 Different Ear Wax Removal Methods That Are Safe
If your ear canal is blocked or compacted with wax, we can’t express how important it is for you to reach out to the team at North Shore Hearing P.C. for professional ear wax removal and guidance. However, most ear wax problems can be remedied at home with treatment. Three different ear wax removal methods that are safe are listed below.
Over-the-Counter Ear Wax Softener
One way to safely remove ear wax is with over-the-counter (OTC) ear wax softeners, such as those made by Debrox, Murine, and more. These products typically include glycerin, peroxide, saline, and mineral oil. If you opt for an OTC softener, make sure to follow the instructions on the package.
In most instances, this will entail putting a few drops into each ear, waiting for a predetermined time, and then rinsing your ear or allowing it to drain. In either case, make sure to follow each product’s specific instructions.
Ways to Remove Ear Wax with Warm Water
If you don’t want to make a trip to the store and would like an entirely homeopathic method of removing ear wax, simply use warm water. Get started by running warm water or saline water into your ear canal. For simplicity, consider using an irrigation kit. However, you should only use the warm water technique if your eardrums are intact and show no signs of perforations, such as ear pain, bloody drainage, or pus drainage.
Once you place the warm water into your canal, it will soften the ear wax within a few minutes. And this will allow the wax to naturally drain out of your ear. Many people tend to use the warm water method when they are in the shower.
In either case, making a chewing motion or moving your jaw may be a good way to accelerate the removal of the ear wax from your ear. Once you are finished, make sure to wipe off your ear lobe with a cloth or cotton ball because it will more than likely have old ear wax at the opening.
Syringes Can Help Remove Ear Wax
Another ear wax removal method that is safe is to use a syringe to help irrigate your ear. Simply rinse your ear canal using warm water or a saline solution. Most people report improved results when they use an ear wax softener approximately 30 minutes before irrigating.
You Should Not Use These Ear Wax Removal Methods
Just as there are right ways to remove ear wax, there are even a greater number of wrong if not dangerous ways to remove ear wax. Here are some of the most egregious ways people attempt to remove ear wax.
- Sticking foreign objects in the ear. Never use a bobby pin, cotton swab, or foreign object to put in your ear. They can push the wax further, cause it to compact, perforate your eardrum, or scratch the ear, which can cause an ear infection.
- Avoid ear candling, which is a procedure that involves sticking a hollow, long candle into your ear and lighting the far end. While it sounds absurd, people actually do this. And as you can imagine, it’s not safe because it can cause burns, perforate the eardrum, and lead to blockage of candle wax.
Contact North Shore Hearing P.C.
At North Shore Hearing P.C., we offer a safe and effective method of removing ear wax. Our micro-suction ear cleaning procedure takes only 15 minutes and will safely remove any excess buildup of ear wax. As trained audiologists, we can also remove wax with specialized curettes to scoop out built-up wax.
Contact North Shore Hearing today for all of your hearing needs.