Causes of Excessive Ear Wax and Home Remedies for Its Removal

Contrary to the belief, ear wax is not dirt as it is thought to be. In fact it has immense potential of protecting the eardrum. Ear wax is secreted in the ear canal. Ear wax is soft and sticky substance when it is moist. It keeps the skin of the ear canal moist and prevents dryness.

Ear wax entraps the dust and other minute particles in the air and prevents it from reaching the ear drum and damaging it. It also acts on the bacteria and fungus invading the ear canal. Therefore many experts are not in favor of ear wax removal unless it gives serious problems of temporary hearing loss by excessive build up, or when the wax gets impacted and causes pain.  Ear wax is of two types, it is either dry or wet. Wet ear wax is moist and yellow to brown in color, while dry wax is hard and black or dark grey in color. Removal of dry ear wax is difficult and it has to be softened before cleaning it.

Causes of Excessive Ear Wax

In normal circumstances ear wax dries and falls out along with the entrapped dust and dirt from the ear canal. Ear wax is present in every person, but the amount of its secretion by the glands present in the canal is genetically determined from birth, just like your skin and hair color. In some people it may be produced at a faster rate. However the factors for excessive built up of ear wax can be attributed to;

  • Ear canal is small and narrow. This makes it difficult for the ear wax to fall out naturally, which ultimately results in excessive ear wax build up.
  • People using hearing aid or ear plugs are prone to have excessive ear wax.
  • Person using Q tips or a bobby pin for ear wax removal may be able to remove the superficial wax but at the same time it pushes the most of the wax deep inside the ear.

Ear Wax Removal Home Remedies

  • Ear bud with a cotton swab on the tip is usually used for removing the ear wax at home; cotton swab can remove only the superficial ear wax. If you try to remove wax deep inside the ear, there is all possibility of damaging the eardrum.
  • Mineral oil: it is used to remove excess of wax, especially when the wax is dry. You can use coconut oil or olive oil etc. Before pouring it, lie with your head on one side. Now pour 3 to5 drops. Let the oil get dissolved with the wax. Stay in that position for 10 to 15 minutes; apply a cotton swab as an ear plug so that the oil remains inside. Remove the swab after some time. Follow this procedure twice in a day for 3 to 4 days until the wax has become completely soft.  Most of the time you may not need syringing. It is the procedure where a bulb syringe is used to squirt water inside the ear for removing wax. This procedure needs a physician’s intervention.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: put few drops of hydrogen peroxide in the ear canal. Hydrogen peroxide helps to dissolve the ear wax and make it soft. It becomes easy for the wax to be removed after putting hydrogen peroxide drops for three days consecutively.

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