Ear Wax - How Removed

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How should ear wax be removed?

Many cases of ear wax respond to home treatments. It is possible to try using a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil, or glycerin in the ear to soften the wax. Hydrogen peroxide drops can also be used. There are also over-the-counter products (OTC) available to remove ear wax, such as Debrox or Murine Ear Drops. If the ear still feels blocked after using these drops, a physician should be consulted. If the person does try OTC ear wax softeners, it is imperative to know that he or she does not have a perforated (punctured) eardrum prior to using the product. Putting ear wax softeners in the ear in the presence of a perforated eardrum may cause an infection in the middle ear. Similarly, simply washing one's ear in the presence of a perforation may start an infection. If a person is uncertain whether or not he or she has a perforation (hole) in the eardrum, consult a physician. Some individuals may also be hypersensitive to products designed to soften ear wax. Therefore, if pain, tenderness or a local skin rash develops, the use of these drops should be discontinued.

When wax has accumulated so much that it blocks the ear canal (and interferes with hearing), a physician may have to wash it out (known as lavage), remove it by suctioning, or remove it with special instruments. Alternatively, a physician may prescribe ear drops that are designed to soften the wax (such as trolamine polypeptide oleate-ear drops [Cerumenex]).

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See what others are saying

Comment from: genetuck, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: June 10

On the advice of the local VA clinic, I used a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and alcohol, putting several drops in the right ear and lying on my left side for about 15 or 20 minutes. Then I used a rubber ear syringe which has stops to prevent pushing it too far into the ear. I used warm water to flush out the softened or dissolved ear wax. My ears produce a lot of wax, so I do this every three months or so.

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Comment from: popcycler, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: December 30

This morning I got a piece of ear wax almost 4 inches long. It was green / grey and had blood spots. It took 4 to 5 treatment with OTC products, but at least I'm not deaf in that ear anymore. This happens frequently.

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