What Are The Best Ways To Remove Earwax?

Earwax, also known as cerumen, is a normal part of how the ear works. In fact, earwax plays a very important role in protecting your ear canal and keeping it clean. But many people experience a buildup of excessive earwax. While it’s not dangerous, excessive earwax can interfere with your hearing if it blocks the eardrum and can even cause discomfort from the added pressure to the ear canal.

What Causes Excessive Earwax?

So, why do some people produce excessive earwax? There are those who just naturally produce more earwax, probably due to genetics. Other causes include frequent listening to earbuds, especially the ones that are designed to go deep into the ear canal. Trauma to the ear can also cause the production of too much earwax.

Producing more earwax than normal isn’t usually a problem because the body has natural ways of getting rid of it. Ironically, it starts to become a problem when people try to remove it themselves.

What Is The Safest Way To Remove Earwax?

Doctors generally recommend people do not try to remove earwax at home. This is because most people use devices like Q-tips, which can actually push the earwax further back into the ear canal, increasing the risk of it blocking the eardrum.

The safest way to remove excess earwax is to have it done by a medical professional. Doctors have special instruments and tools that can safely remove your earwax without damaging the eardrum or any part of the canal. Further, a doctor can inspect the inside of your ear to check for damage or infections.

The safest ways to remove earwax yourself:

Ear drops are a safe way to help remove earwax on your own. Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most common solutions as an in-home remedy.

Despite what many websites tell you, do not use candles to try and remove wax. This is a popular home remedy that has been proven to be ineffective and can cause serious damage to the inside of your ear, including burns, bleeding, and even a ruptured eardrum.

Also, avoid using Q-tips or any other household object not designed specifically to remove earwax. Doing so can push the wax further back into the ear, causing more problems later on. If you’re feeling any pain in your ear canal or hear a constant ringing/buzzing (tinnitus), then it’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible. Those symptoms can be related to underlying conditions not associated with earwax.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you’re having a problem with excessive earwax, call the Institute for Hearing and Balance. They can evaluate your condition and clean out your ear safely and effectively. You’ll also be provided with a plan to prevent additional blockages and ways to minimize earwax buildup.