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Earwax Removal in Children at home
What is Ear Wax?
Ear wax or earwax, also called cerumen, is produced by glands in the external ear canal to protect the eardrum from harm by any debris or small insects. There are only two types of ear wax: dry and wet. The dry-type ear wax is in flake form while the wet-type ear wax is brownish and thick liquid like honey. Although ear wax provides some protection from bacteria and dust, accumulated ear wax along with trapped dust and dead skin cell from the ear canal can create problems such as impair hearing and cause pain.
Many doctors here in the US believe people shouldn't remove their ear wax and it is a doctor's job to remove a person's ear wax if ear wax blockage occurs, or at least consult with a doctor first. But in Asia, it is a wide practice that people clean out their ear wax at home by themselves or by an adult if it is a kid. It is importance to clear out your ear wax from time to time in order to avoid a buildup in your ear canal because an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of treatment.
The Asian way to remove ear wax in children at home
What to use
People in Asia use an ear wax pickers that are either made out of bamboo or metal to remove the ear wax. I personally prefer bamboo ear wax pickers because they are more gentle to the skin. A good size ear wax picker is a 4-6 inches thin stick with a spoon like curve at one end. For babies or young children who don't have the patience to sit still, it is better to clean their ears while they are asleep. It requires a steady hand to do the task. A child can be in sitting or standing position in a well-lit area.
How to use
- Use one hand to pull up the upper outer ear and rest the edge of your palm against the child's head to stop any sudden movement of the child.
- Use your other hand to hold the ear wax picker, carefully and lightly scoop out any wet ear wax or scrape out any dry ear wax in sight. Don't dig in further than you can see. Most of the time ear wax would make its way out toward the outer ear canal. Therefore if you clear up the exit of the outer ear canal, the ear wax that you can't see now will eventually show up there later.
- When you're done removing most of the large parts of wet ear wax or large pieces of dry ear wax, use Q-tip or small cloth to wipe out the remaining ear wax that you can see.
The cost of an ear wax picker
Ear wax pickers are efficient in removing ear wax in children and are very affordable. There are two types of ear wax pickers that are commonly used in Asia: bamboo and metal. A metal ear wax picker sometimes costs slightly more than the one that is made of bamboo because metal ear wax can last a lot longer than a bamboo ear wax. You can find them here.
Compare the Length of Ear Pickers
The Western way to remove ear wax in children at home
What to use
Consult your child's doctor first. With the doctor’s permission, you can buy over the counter ear wax removal medication. There are different types of over the counter earwax removal medication available, such as Similasan Ear Wax Removal Homeopathic Ear Drops, a glycerin-based product, or Debrox which contains Carbamide peroxide. These ear wax medicines help soften excess ear wax and reduce chronic ear wax congestion.
How to use
- Lay your child down with the affected ear facing upward
- Place a towel below your child's affected ear to catch any ear wax that oozes out.
- Apply the recommended amount of drops inside your ear.
- You child should hear crackling noise and feel the movement of his/her ear wax in his/her ear canal within few minutes.
- Use the towel to clean the ear wax that oozes out.
- When the cracking noise stop, have you child sit up.
- Fill a syringe or washer bulb with lukewarm water.
- Tilt your child's affected ear down and squirt the water into the ear to flush out the ear wax. You will need to repeat the procedure for a few days in order to clear up any stubborn buildups. Make sure that you follow the instruction and use the medicine properly.
The cost of ear wax removal medicine
The cost of ear wax removal medicine varies by difference brands. It ranges from $6 - $25.