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How to Safely Remove Earwax
Excessive earwax can be a problem for many children and adults, causing blocked ears and making it more difficult to hear what is going on. This can be both annoying and uncomfortable.
Fortunately, there are several simple methods that can be used to treat excess earwax that provide immediate relief. This article discusses three of the most popular.
- Using a homemade mixture to remove earwax
- Using commercially available ear drops
- Using a specially designed ear syringe
1. Use a homemade mixture to remove earwax
You can use one of the following mixtures to soften and remove earwax.
- Salt water - ½ cup of warm water with one teaspoon of salt dissolved in it
- Hydrogen peroxide - a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide
- Isopropyl alcohol and vinegar - Mix equal parts of 70% isopropyl alcohol and vinegar
- Almond or baby oil - Warm up some almond or baby oil
Whatever mixture you choose, you can apply it in the same way:
- Lean your head to one side so that the blocked ear is uppermost
- Use a syringe or a cotton ball dipped in the solution to drip several drops of the mixture you have chosen into the ear
- Leave it for around ten to fifteen minutes with your head to one side
- After this, have some tissue on hand to mop up any excess mixture and earwax that comes out of your ear
2. Use commercially available ear drops
You can buy ear drops to soften earwax from your pharmacy or chemist. These drops are specially made to soften and remove earwax and can be quite effective.
You use them in the same way as the mixtures that you make yourself.
3. Use a specially designed ear syringe
Many pharmacies also sell ear syringes that will allow you to squirt warm water into your ear to irrigate it and remove excess earwax.
These syringes have a specially designed head to avoid squirting high-pressure water into your ear and damaging your eardrum. Always use the syringe with the head provided and never use a regular syringe to clean out your ears.
Hints and tips
Here are some more hints and tips on getting rid of earwax:
- Never insert a cotton bud or anything else into your ear canal. They can actually make things worse by compacting the earwax and could even damage your eardrum.
- If you have ongoing problems with earwax, your sinuses or hearing loss, go and see your doctor to make sure there isn't a more serious problem.
- 'In-ear' headphones (ear-buds) can contribute to the buildup of earwax, so you might want to consider getting over-ear headphones if you continue to have problems.
How to remove earwax at home
What technique do you use to remove earwax?
These simple techniques can remove earwax quickly and effectively, providing you with immediate relief and helping you to hear more easily.