How to remove ear wax
First of all, what is ear wax and why do we have it?
Ear wax, or cerumen, is produced by special glands in the skin of the ear canal. It has lubricating and antibacterial properties to help protect the ear canal. A small amount is produced every day, and for most people, the ear self-cleans and a small amount are pushed out of the ear canal. For some people, there is an imbalance in the production/self-cleaning, and a build-up occurs.
How Not to Clean Your Ears
For most people, it is not necessary to clean your ears-your ears will do the job for you. As for Q-tips, the old saying applies: “Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow into your ear.” Too often, we see patients who have damaged their ear canal, or more seriously, their eardrum from using a Q-tip. Also, frequent use of peroxide or alcohol is not necessary to clean your ears. In fact, overuse of these products can actually remove the protective layer of wax in your ears, causing problems such as dry itchy ears and infection of the ear canals.
How to Clean Your Ears
Over-the-counter ear wax drops, baby oil, and mineral oil can be used to help soften the wax. We recommend a few drops twice a day for 3-4 days. Initially, the drops may cause your ears to feel “plugged up.” On the fourth day, you can use a syringe of warm water or water while showering to irrigate your ears. However, for dense impactions, the over-the-counter treatment is unlikely to remove the wax. If this is the case, call Dr. McCool or Dr. Bhuta to schedule an appointment.