Suggestions for DIY Ear Wax Removal and Cleaning

Congestion of the outer ear canal as the result of an accumulation of ear wax is among the most prevalent reasons for temporary hearing loss. Individuals who have encountered this, and noted a diminished ability to hear, generally want to learn how to clean their ears to avoid it. Even though this is a natural desire, it is vital that you know how to clean your ears safely, without causing hearing or ear canal damage.

To stress health and safety when cleaning your ears, we will start with what not to do. Avoid the use of cotton swabs, Q-tips or any other foreign objects that you insert into your ears, as they may cause the ear wax to compact further. One more thing you shouldn’t do is attempt to use any system that shoots pressurized water directly into your ears; doing this risks damaging your eardrums. Last but not least, if you know that you have a punctured eardrum, leave cleaning your ears to a hearing specialist. The same is true if you think you have an ear infection. If you think you might have an infection, common indications to watch for include fever, vomiting or diarrhea, fluid draining from the ears and ear pain.

For gentle and effective ear cleaning at home, get a bulb or syringe (available at any pharmacy) and a special rinse solution. You can buy a carbamide peroxide solution at the local pharmacy, or mix your own using equal measures of mineral oil, 3 to 4 percent and glycerin.

When using this solution, it is best to lay down on your side on top of a towel to catch any drips or lean over a bowl or basin or sink; then you simply squeeze the carbamide peroxide solution slowly into each ear, trying to avoid touching the ear with the syringe or bulb. The solution takes some time to work, so keep it in each ear for a few minutes, and then repeat for the other ear.

After the ear wax has been softened and loosened by the solution, wash each ear once again with lukewarm( not hot) water, and then dry your outer ears carefully with a soft towel. If your ears still seem obstructed, repeat a few times a day for 2 to 3 days. If the problem still persist, consult your a hearing specialist or audiologist.

David DeKriek (3 Posts)

Dr. DeKriek has been helping the hearing impaired for more than 10 years in a variety of medical environments. He completed an internship at UCLA, served as a member of the cranio-facial team at Orthopaedic Hospital and has provided diagnostic and rehabilitative services to many local medical offices before starting his own practice. Dr. DeKriek earned his Doctor of Audiology at the University of Florida and has been awarded his Board Certification in Audiology. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Visit him online at http://fidelityhearingcenter.com


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