We all have earwax in our ears and we all need it but, unless you have a blockage of earwax, you should really try and leave that earwax alone.
Why do our ears produce earwax?
Earwax serves a special purpose of acting as a self-cleaning agent for your ears, helping to slow down the growth of bacteria and prevent dirt from entering your ear. It usually passes out of the ears harmlessly.
However, many people will fiddle with their ears and think they must remove any excess of earwax using cotton swabs, ear candling or other devices. But be warned that such action can push the offending earwax further into the ear canal and even damage the ear itself.
The movement of debris in the inner ear canal can even lead to vertigo.
There are two types of earwax
The one is wet, sticky and either yellow or brown.
The second is dry and crumbly and either grey or tan.
Genetics decides which type of earwax you have. Dry earwax is common in East Asian populations while wet earwax dominates in African and European populations.
Symptoms of an earwax blockage
If you start poking about in your ears, such action can lead to impacted earwax and a blockage. You may experience earache, hearing loss, a ringing in the ears, unusual sensations in the ear or itchiness.
Those who use ear plugs or hearing aids regularly can also be more likely to suffer from earwax blockage.
There are natural ways to removing impacted earwax
They may take a few attempts to be successful and a word of warning
not to attempt a home remedy if you have a perforated ear drum, diabetes, a tube in your eardrum or if your immune system is weak. You would obviously need to seek medical advice.
1. Salt water
is ideal as a removal solution. Mix one teaspoon of salt in half a cup of warm water until the salt dissolves completely and then soak a cotton ball in the saline solution. Tilt the affected ear up toward the sky before squeezing the cotton ball to release a few drops of the saline water into the ear. Stay in the same position for three to five minutes and then tilt your head in the opposite direction to allow the saline water to drain out. Clean the outer part of your ear with a clean cloth to remove the softened wax.
2. Hydrogen peroxide
is another effective home remedy. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) and water and fill an ear dropper. Again, tilt the head sideways before adding a few drops. Leave it for some minutes and tilt the head in the opposite direction to drain. Use a clean cloth to remove any wax visible in the outer ear.
3. Warm water
can also help to get rid of excess earwax. Use clean, filtered water to gently force the water through to dislodge any wax blockage. Fill a rubber-bulb syringe with slightly warm water and use to put a small amount into the ear canal after tilting the head upright and pulling the out ear to straighten the ear canal. Leave in for a minute before draining by tilting the head in the opposite direction. Again, clean with a soft cloth to remove water and earwax from the outer ear.
4. Olive oil
works well to soften the wax and has antiseptic properties to reduce any risk of infection in the ear. Warm up some olive oil slightly and using a dropper, place three to four drops of the oil into the ear. Leave for ten minutes to allow the wax to soften before tilting the head sideways. Remove oil and excess wax from the outer ear with a soft cloth.
If you find that, in spite of several repeated attempts, your home remedy of choice has not done its job, do not hesitate to see your doctor. He or she will normally use high pressure irrigation of the ear canal with a syringe to complete the process.