Does the tingling and itching sensation within your ear make you irate sometimes and do you rush for a cotton bud? Well, it does so to millions of men and women when ear wax forms inside the ear canals! Ear wax or cerumen is formed naturally by glands inside your ear (1). This is formed by the body over time to prevent small particles like dust and germs from reaching the eardrum. However, ear wax, when accumulated can get hardened, and that can lead to a few issues in the long run. Naturally, the ear wax dries up and falls out of the ear, but this may not be the case always. For different people, the amount of ear wax can be varying. Both adults and children get affected by it. This is a lifelong issue and while it is not an ailment, cleaning up the ear wax can become necessary at times.
Need To Get Rid Of Ear Wax:
Ear wax is grayish or yellow in color, and the texture can vary. If you find that ear wax has gathered in large quantities inside the ear canal, removing it can be necessary. First of all, too much ear wax can create an itching sensation at times and impair the hearing efficacy. In fact, earwax can get hardened inside the ear canal. If it is oily or soft, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Given the fact that the ear canal remains mostly invisible to naked eyes, you may find removing ear wax properly somewhat tedious. The good thing is you can get ear wax removed without requiring medical skills or incurring a huge expense!
Ways To Remove Earwax From The Ear Canals:
There are a few ways that you can use to eliminate ear wax. These are:
- A lot of people prefer to get their ear canals checked by a doctor for ear wax removals. The doctors can use suction pumps and other specific medications to loosen ear wax and remove every bit of it using safe methods. In this way, you can also avoid the risk of ear infection.
- Millions of people use soft cotton ear buds for ear wax removal. While they make the process easier, handling them carefully is required to avoid injuring the ear canal. Besides, using the swabs and buds can barely do the job if the ear wax has become hardened.
- You can use coconut oil or body oil to soften the ear wax and extract it using cotton swabs. While the application of oil does loosen up the wax inside the ear lobe, it may also make the area moist and pave the way for germ breeding.
- There are a few medical solutions including OTC products that are used by several people for removing ear wax safely (2).
- You may also use household items like hydrogen peroxide to extract ear wax, which is quite safe and deemed effective.
[ Read: How To Get Rid of Clogged Ear ]
Why Use Hydrogen Peroxide For Removal Of Ear Wax:
Hydrogen peroxide is found in nearly every household, and it has been used extensively for treating infections (3) and cuts for ages. It does not produce harmful effects on the skin or body parts when used in the right way and amount. It is quite mild in nature and affordable as well. When applied to the skin, it releases oxygen. This, in turn, removes the dead skin and cleans the area. It can be used to loosen the ear wax and extract it from ear canals easily. You can find hydrogen peroxide in any chemist shop and online easily. After buying, ensure you store the bottle away from any source of heat or sunlight. This solution degenerates when it is kept in proximity to heat.
Ways To Eradicate Ear Wax Using Hydrogen Peroxide:
You will need to use the following ingredients to get rid of ear wax at home:
- Hydrogen peroxide – 3 percent solution
- A few bowls
- Soft cloth or towel
- Cotton balls
- Cotton ear buds
- Olive oil
- A dropper
First, warm both the oil and hydrogen peroxide solution a bit. This helps in loosening the ear wax and makes the overall process a lot simpler.
Use this method if the amount of ear wax accumulated is quite small. Dip a cotton bud in hydrogen peroxide solution and then dip it into the ear canal (4). Rotate it gently to loosen and pick up the ear wax. Use it a few times to clean the ear canal. Ensure that you move it inside the ear quite slowly.
Resort to this method when the amount of ear wax remaining in your ear canal is quite a lot, and it is quite hardened as well. Keep in mind that this process is going to take quite some time.
- First of all, take the dropper and suck in a few drops of warm olive oil in it.
- Lie on the bed with your ear facing the ceiling. In this posture, you may find it hard to drop the oil in ear canal quite difficult, as you cannot see it. So, ask a friend or someone in your family to drop the oil using a dropper into the ear canal. Do not move at this time. Let the oil get soaked by the ear wax and wait for some time. Fifteen minutes or so will do the trick.
- Then, use the dropper to take in a few drops of warm hydrogen peroxide solution. Ask the friend to pour a few drops of the solution in the ear canal. After it is done, you will feel a slight tingling inside the ear canal. Lie in the position for 10 minutes or a little more. Let the solution loosen up the wax.
- After that, place a towel beside the ear and on the bed. Put your head in slanting position. The ear wax, weakened by the solution and the oil will drain out of the ear canal.
- If the ear wax is hardened, it may not drain out on its own. You may have to use the cotton swabs or buds to take out the remaining ear wax from the ear canal slowly.
- Now, do the steps mentioned above for the other ear as well. The overall procedure may take close to an hour.
- Keep in mind that you might need to do this for a few times or a week if the ear wax is really hard and the accumulated amount is quite a lot. All the wax may not get extracted in just one application, but within a day or two, you will be rid of all the ear wax!
- After all the ear wax has been extracted and drained out, you will need to use cotton balls and swabs to dry out the ear canal slowly. Ensure you use them with caution.
Cautions To Keep In Mind:
While using hydrogen peroxide to clean ear wax is thought to be effective, you still need to be careful. Keep the following points in mind for safety.
- You should not use hydrogen peroxide to clean ear wax if you are already afflicted with an ear infection. In fact, you should not apply any other solution or oil in the ear canal during such periods to avoid infections.
- There are various types of hydrogen peroxide solutions in the market that you can buy. Ensure that you buy the type with 3 percent solution for safety reasons (5).
- After you clean both the ear canals with hydrogen peroxide, the ear cavities will be moist. Do not leave them in that condition. Doing so may lead to accumulation of germs and result in the risk of infection.
- To clean the ear with hardened ear wax, you will have to apply hydrogen peroxide for a few times. However, do not make it too frequent as doing so will dry out the ear canal excessively.
- If you find applying hydrogen peroxide is not doing the needful for ear wax removal, even after many applications, visit a doctor. This can happen when the ear wax has become way too hardened. The doctor may use special fluids and devices to extract the ear wax safely.
- After you have cleaned the ear wax using hydrogen peroxide and other accessories, ensure everything, including your towel or dropper, is dipped in hot water and sterilized using disinfectant solutions. This will eliminate any risk of infection spreading through these products. It is also necessary that you clean your hands with soap after cleaning the ear with this solution for the same reason.
- Hydrogen peroxide is gentle on the skin and does not lead to burning sensation or corrosion. However, those with sensitive skin may find it a little too tough. They may add it to some water before applying on ear wax.
Hydrogen peroxide is a tested and proven way to get rid of ear wax ever so gently. So, the next time you feel your ear throbbing and suspect ear wax as the culprit, try hydrogen peroxide!
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