When you try to repair a earwax block by digging into your ear with a cotton swab, we understand the urge. But you should stop too.
According to ear specialists, it's really not safe to put cotton swabs (or something smaller than an elbow) in these valuable ear canals. Not only could you scratch your sensitive ear canal or eardrum, you risk pushing the earwax further into your ear, which can lead to waxing up.
"They really do not want that Brad DeSilva, MD, an ear, nose and throat ENT doctor at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, told SELF.
But earwax blockades can happen to the best of us, so what should happen to you? If you have one, ear specialists have some other treatment options for you. Listen to her.
Usually you do not have to remove earwax, but sometimes constipation can build up. Earwax is a miraculous multitasking substance that serves two main purposes: stopping dust, germs and small objects from damaging the ear and protecting the skin in your ear canal from irritation when water enters the device, as indicated in US National Library of Medicine . Also known as cerumen earwax is made from gouty glands that secrete wax and sebaceous glands that pump out oil.
In most cases, your earwax slowly oozes out or falls off ear. "The only reason to remove earwax is if your hearing is blocked or you are disturbed," Dr. med. Nina Shapiro, otolaryngologist at UCLA Health and author of HYPE: A Medical Guide to Medical Myths, Exaggerated Claims, and Bad Advice tells SELF.
But sometimes the wax can harden and form a blockage that leads to symptoms such as earache, feeling of fullness in the ear, ringing or noises in the ear . decreased hearing Dizziness and even a cough, says the Mayo Clinic . Then of course you want to do something about it. However, this should not be done with a cotton swab for the reasons mentioned above.
The safe removal of earwax in the home should not include cotton swabs or wax candles.
Earwax removal is sometimes possible, however with cotton swabs or wax candles are not recommended by otolaryngologists. Instead, there are several steps to safely eliminate a blockage.
Note about Caution: You should not try this method at home if you have earache or fluid drainage, have recently had an ear surgery or if at the Mayo Clinic a hole was diagnosed in the eardrum.
But if your ear generally feels clogged and you suspect that earwax clogging is the reason, you can try to consider things your own hands This usually means taking three steps according to the Mayo Clinic :
1. Try to reduce earwax . Take a clean pipette of baby oil, mineral oil, glycerine or hydrogen peroxide and add a few drops into your ear canal. You can lie down with the affected ear before dropping the drops and letting them hang for a few minutes to make sure that the liquid really gets in there before you sit up, Dr. DeSilva.
. 2 Rinse with a warm water. It will probably take a day or two for the wax to soften. Be patient, dear reader. This is a necessary step for any wax removal magic.
After this time has elapsed, take a rubber syringe (you should be able to buy one online or at your local pharmacy) and fill it with warm water and gently inject the water into your ear canal. Make sure you tilt your head and pull the outer ear up and back to straighten the ear canal for easier water penetration. Then tilt your head to the side so that the water can drain.
. 3 Dry the area. When the water has drained, gently dry your outer ear with a towel or hair dryer. (If you choose the dryer route, the US National Library of Medicine recommends that you use it at a low level so you do not blow your ear with hot air.)
Depending on how stubborn your Ear wax blockage, you may need to repeat this several times to get complete relief.
If methods that do not help to block earwax at home are helpful, see a doctor.
Let's say you have tried to clean your ears for sure and you still feel constipated. In this case, it is time to go to either your family doctor or an otolaryngologist.
Your doctor can use an exam to determine if earworm blockage is causing your problem In your ear with an instrument called an otoscope that illuminates and enlarges your inner ear, says the Mayo Clinic . You can then use a small curved instrument, called Curet, to extract the wax, suck it, or rinse the water with a water-based ear.
If you get frequent earwax blockages, your doctor may recommend that you use Earwax Removal Kits from your local pharmacy or over-the-counter earwax removal chemicals, says the Mayo Clinic . You should only take these steps after receiving the OK from your doctor so that you know the correct protocol to avoid accidental irritation of your ear canal or eardrum.
In general, you should not worry that ear wax blockage means anything is seriously wrong. Ears "Earwax is normal," Dr. DeSilva. "It's okay and good to have some wax in your ear canal."