What Is Ear Wax
Earwax is a waxy material produced by glands inside the ear. It helps keep our ears healthy and clean; it stops the skin that lines our ear canal from drying and cracking and protects the ear by trapping dirt and repelling water so it helps to prevent infections.
Most of the time our ear canals clean themselves; as we talk, chew and move our jaws the earwax and skin cells slowly move from the eardrum to the ear opening where it usually dries, and falls out. Earwax doesn’t usually cause problems, but if too much earwax is produced it can cause a blockage which can be painful or could cause hearing loss.
There is a vast array of items on sale which say they will clean your ears or remove ear wax, but do any actually help?
When To See A Doctor About A Clogged Ear
While ear wax is generally more annoying than dangerous,sometimes you need a doctor to clear it. If home remedies dont work, your earhurts or you have trouble hearing, Dr. Nguyen-Huynh says its smart to seek medical evaluation.
Someone needs to look in andsee if the ear canal is open or if the wax is plugging it up, he says.
If the situation is minor, you may be able to get yourears unblocked right then and there. If not, ENT doctors can useoperating microscopes to magnify inside the ear canal, loosen the wax and vacuumit out.
And a clogged ear may have othercauses. It could be a middle ear infection with fluid filling up the spacebehind the eardrum, Dr. Nguyen-Huynh cautions. Or you could have a viralinfection that affects the inner ear. In those cases, a doctor can diagnose andtreat you to prevent permanent hearing loss.
Can Olive Oil Help Clear Earwax Buildup
The short answer here is maybe.
Earwax is naturally secreted by glands in your ear canal, which helps clean and lubricate your ears, and trap dust and other particles, according to the Mayo Clinic. Typically, ear wax gradually makes its way to the ear opening and falls out, since your ears are self-cleaning. But earwax can build up and potentially block the ear canal for a few reasons:
- You may simply produce more wax than the average person
- You could also have abnormally narrow ear canals that get blocked by wax more easily
- If you try to clean your ears with a cotton swab like a Q-tip, you may actually be pushing wax in deeper, causing a blockage
- You wear hearing aids, which can stimulate ear wax production while simultaneously blocking wax from leaving the ear canal
This annoying wax buildup can cause pain, mess with your hearing , ear aches, and ear infections. So you want to deal with it quickly!
Adding several drops of olive oil to your affected ear is thought to soften earwax and help it come out naturally. But how effective is it?
Another study, from 2013, found that participants who applied 0.05 ml of olive oil to one ear every night for 6 months actually had greater wax buildup in that ear than in their non-treated ear. However, the study also found that short-term use of olive oil right before a doctor removed the ear wax buildup, did make it easier to remove all the wax.
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Hydrogen Peroxide Best Way To Remove Ear Wax
You can easily get a bottle hydrogen peroxide from the drug store. It is considered as an effective home remedy for earwax. Hydrogen peroxide is a weak acid that can liquefy the wax thus making it easier to dislodge.
Note: Make sure the hydrogen peroxide that you get is less than 3.5% in concentration.
- Dilute two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide using two teaspoons of water.
- Tilt your head and using a dropper pour a few drops of this solution into the affected ear.
- Remain in this position for about 5 minutes.
- Then tilt your head to the other side to drain out the solution.
- Wipe and pat dry your ear using a clean cloth.
What Causes Plugs Of Earwax To Build Up
The amount of earwax that is produced varies from person to person and has nothing to do with personal hygiene. The buildup of earwax in the outer ear canal is particularly common in men and older people. Our earwax also changes in older age: The ceruminous glands start to shrink and make less secretions. The earwax becomes drier, but dead skin particles still continue to build up. The outer ear canal can then no longer clean itself as well as it does in younger people.
If a lot of earwax is made, or if dead skin particles build up in the ear canal, a plug of earwax may form and affect your hearing. Experts estimate that removing an earwax plug can improve hearing by 10 decibels. To give you an idea of what this means: The difference between quiet whispering and normal conversation is about 20 decibels.
Older age isn’t the only thing that can affect the ears ability to clean itself. Cleaning your ears with cotton buds or similar objects may cause problems too. Doing so only removes some of the earwax the rest is usually pushed further into the ear, where it may become harder and form a plug. There is also a risk of irritating or injuring the eardrum or the skin lining the outer ear canal.
Hearing aids, in-ear headphones or earplugs worn to protect you from noise, dust or water may also cause earwax to build up and harden if used too often.
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Type Of Coconut Oil To Be Used
One may encounter several brands of coconut oil that are easily available in the health and food stores, grocery stores and also available from online retailers, and some are also being sold as nutritional supplements. All these brands may claim to offer 100% virgin coconut oil but its very important to use a quality coconut oil for using it in your ears.
Can You Remove Ear Wax With Baby Oil
Ear wax serves an important purpose; it protects the ear canal from bugs, dirt, debris and bacteria. In most cases, the ear cleans itself and ear wax causes no symptoms or problems. When ear wax accumulates and blocks the ear canal, coughing, ringing, pain, itching or hearing loss may result. Most wax blockages are treatable with baby oil at home. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, you should only remove ear wax when it causes discomfort or interferes with hearing 1.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Warm 1 or 2 tsp. of baby oil to body temperature. The University of Maryland Medical Center warns that placing any liquid that is warmer or cooler than your body temperature into your ears can trigger vertigo, dizziness or discomfort.
Tilt your head so that the affected ear is facing up toward the ceiling. Grab the outer part of your ear and pull down and out. This will open up your ear canal to allow the baby oil to reach the wax blockage.
Place two to three drops of baby oil into your ear canal using an eyedropper. Do not insert the dropper into your ear canal. You should feel the liquid draining down your ear canal. Keep the affected ear tilted for several minutes.
Hold a clean towel or paper towel over the affected ear, and then slowly tilt the affected ear down toward your shoulder. The towel will catch any baby oil as it drains from your ear.
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Olive Oil For Ear Wax Removal
Oils are one of the popular ingredients when it comes to softening of impacted wax in the ears. Olive oil, which is readily available in your kitchen and in grocery stores can be used effectively to soften your ear wax. Some laboratory tests have also shown virgin olive oil to have strong bactericidal properties. Therefore, you do not have to worry about any infection that may follow.
- Dropper or cotton ball
- If your olive is cold, warm it up a little, just to bring it equal to your body temperature.
- Lie down on one of your side, in a way that the ear with wax stays up towards the ceiling.
- Fill the dropper with oil or soak the cotton ball with oil.
- Pour few drops into your ear.
- Keep lying down in the same position for about 8-10 minutes.
- After this, get up and sit down while holding your oiled ear with a tissue or towel.
- Keep the ear downwards while sitting so that the oil drains off the ear.
- If your ear wax is impacted or hardened a lot, you may need to repeat this process daily for 1-2 weeks.
If this seems to be a lot of work to be done, you may easily get a pharmaceutical grade olive oil spray which is meant to break impacted wax naturally. While using this spray, follow the instructions given on the pack. Usually, a mist of a little amount of olive oil is put into the ear and then the ear is plugged with a small cotton plug for some hours. Later on, the softened wax is washed away with a warm shower by tilting the head for a few seconds.
When To Call A Doctor
Check with your doctor before starting a new olive oil regimen in your ears. Your doctor may have more effective tools for removing earwax or treating ear infections. Your primary care doctor or an otolaryngologist can help you treat a buildup of earwax by irrigating the ear canal in their office and removing the wax with special tools.;If you wear hearing aids, see your doctor every three to six months to check your ears for excess earwax.;
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How Does Mineral Oil Work On Ear Wax
Lets start with understanding what ear wax is all about! Ear wax is called cerumen and is a bodys self-defensive method to protect the ears. These are known to lubricate the ear and is anti-bacterial. It self cleans itself by the movement of our jaws.
The movement during chewing moves the wax through the ear canals. If youve used bobby pins, or cotton swabs chances are youve pushed the wax inside and it cant self-clean anymore. This is when they start to accumulate in the ear canal and cause irritating symptoms.
Mineral oil for ear wax is meant to solve this problem.; When a few drops of mineral oil are put inside the ears, it liquefies the solid ear wax. Once the ear wax becomes soft, it gets easier for it to pass through the ear canal during chewing, talking, and other activities that involve jaw movements.
Essential Oils For Ear Infection: How To Use Them And Warnings
Written byMohan GarikiparithiPublished onJuly 4, 2017
Ear infections are caused by bacteria and viruses and mostly affect the middle ear, which is the air-filled space behind the eardrum. This space contains tiny vibrating bones that help transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. Ear infections can occur in both adults and children, and depending on the cause and promptness of treatment, they can have varying degrees of resolution.
Ear infections are frequently painful due to inflammation and fluid build-up that occurs as your body attempts to attack the invading bacteria or viruses. While they often clear up on their own, ear infections should be looked at by a medical professional to make sure no serious consequences will result, especially in young children.
The use of essential oils for ear infections can prove to be an effective method for dealing with ear pain. Essential oils represent the true essence of a plant and have been used for thousands of years for healing. They can be used as part of aromatherapy or applied to the skin when mixed with a carrier oil to reap their medicinal benefits.
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Use Saline Water For Ear Wax Removal
Most of the times, ear wax is not able to fall off on its own because it hardens. Soft wax falls off automatically. Therefore, almost all the home remedies for ear wax solutions lay stress on such ingredients that can soften the ear wax making it easier to bring it on the outside of the ear. Saline water does the same, softens the ear wax so that it come to the surface of the ear and falls off.
- Add salt to the warm water.
- Mix it properly until all of it gets dissolved in the water.
- Tilt your head sideways sitting straight. You should tilt your head in a manner that keeps the blocked ear upwards, towards the roof.
- Now soak the cotton ball in the saline solution.
- Bring the soaked cotton ball near to your ear and pour a few drops into the ear while squeezing the cotton ball.
- Keep the head tilted for sometime. The saline water will go deep down to make the ear wax soft.
- After a few minutes, tilt the head towards other side bringing your blocked ear downwards.
- Keep sitting in this position for another few minutes.
- The softened wax will come out of the ear with the saline solution.
Hydrogen Peroxide For Ear Wax Removal
It may sound like a chemical but hydrogen peroxide is a natural substance. It is simply water with some extra oxygen. Organisms, meaning living creatures, naturally produce hydrogen peroxide or H2O2 by a respiratory burst during their immune response to fight off infections. However, the hydrogen peroxide that you will buy from the market is produced through a chemical reaction which occurs when compressed air is blown through an aqueous solution. Among its many homely uses, hydrogen peroxide is also used for ear wax removal. While it softens the wax, it is also an ear disinfectant and will keep you away from any ear infection.
- Mix equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and water, say ¼ cups each.
- Soak the cotton ball in this solution.
- Tilt your head sideways with blocked ear upwards.
- Pour the solution in the ear with hardened wax while squeezing the cotton.
- Sit in the same position for sometime.
- Now tilt your head in the opposite direction and wait for some more time so that the solution drains off your ear.
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How Do I Use It
While theres no clear evidence about the effectiveness of olive oil on its own for common ear problems, its also not associated with any serious health consequences, so you can still try it to see for yourself.
To apply drops to your ear, use a glass dropper or you can dip a cotton swab in olive oil and allow the excess to drip into your ear. Dont put the cotton swab or any other object in your ear.
You can use room-temperature olive oil, though some people prefer to warm it up in a pan over low heat. Make sure to test the temperature on your skin first. The oil should be just slightly warm, not hot.
Follow these instructions to safely apply olive oil to your ears at home:
Tailor the application to your need, and contact your doctor if you arent seeing the desired results:
How To Use Olive Oil For Earwax Buildup:
Results are a bit mixed on whether olive oil will actually help with earwax removal. But trying it out for a short period of time shouldnt pose much of a risk as long as you do not have a ruptured eardrum .
Using these steps , apply olive oil to your affected ear 1-2 times a day for up to a week:
If youre not experiencing relief after about a week, call your doctor. They can remove the wax by using a small curved instrument called a curet, flushing it out with warm water, or with gentle microsuction. You dont want to self-treat with olive oil for too long, since it may contribute to wax buildup over time, as mentioned above.
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Garlic Oil For Ear Wax Removal
If your ear is aching a lot along with blockage due to ear wax, you may think of using garlic oil as a remedy. Garlic is a natural antibiotic due to its component allicin. Allicin, which is also an excellent anti-microbial agent, fights off any infection in the inner ear or middle ear to get you rid of the pain. Garlic oil is made by infusing an oil with garlic. This way, oil can soften your wax and garlics properties can combat the infection thus alleviating any accompanying pain. `
- Take a small pan and place the oil in it.
- Crush the garlic cloves and add this to the oil.
- Now heat the oil till the garlic cloves get blackened.
- Turn off the heat and allow this oil to cool down to room temperature or just a little warmer than this. Dont ever try to put very warm or hot oil or liquid into your ears. This may lead to vertigo or other complications of the ear.
- When the oil is somewhat equal to your body temperature, discard the garlic pieces from it.
- Now soak the cotton ball in this oil.
- Pour a few drops of this garlic oil into your ear after tilting your head sidewards.
- You may also rub a little oil around your ear to eliminate the pain.
- Stay in this position for some time.
- Now tilt the head in the opposite direction and allow the oil to drain off.
- This remedy gives best results when you do this just before going to sleep at night.