Hydrogen peroxide is used since olden days as an effective disinfectant and antiseptic solution on wounds. Hydrogen peroxide is clear liquid similar to water but more viscous than water. The liquid hydrogen peroxide is more popular and well known because of the effervescence that it produces. Besides its use in medical field, hydrogen peroxide has wide range of industrial uses.
Hydrogen peroxide when used for medicinal purposes has mild strength than that used for industrial purposes. Use of hydrogen peroxide for dressing and cleaning a wound is practiced since olden days when antibiotics were not invented.
It’s another important use is to prevent ear infection; actually hydrogen peroxide is used to break up the wax in the ear or the entrapped foreign particle, and bring it to the surface because of its effervescence properties.
How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Help In Ear Infections?
For answering this question we will have to study some basic anatomical facts of the ear. The ear is divided into three compartments, external ear, middle ear and internal ear. An infection can happen in any of the three compartments of the ear but of all the three, infection of middle ear is common.
This is frequently caused due to common cold. In common cold there is running nose, throat swelling and post nasal drip. When the mucus secretion due to common cold blocks Eustachian tube that connects middle ear and throat, it leads to collection of fluid in the middle ear. Bacteria find favorable environment and multiply to produce ear infection.
When the wax in ear gets impacted it creates favorable environment for bacteria and germs to grow and cause infection, especially when cold sets in. Since an impacted ear wax is difficult to remove manually due to small ear canal passage, this is where hydrogen peroxide finds its importance.
A few drops of hydrogen peroxide in the ear will help to remove the impacted wax due to its effervescence. So basically hydrogen peroxide is used to prevent ear infection by removing ear wax. Hydrogen peroxide is also used to remove entrapped foreign body in the ear. The bubbles created by hydrogen peroxide helps to bring the foreign particle out of the ear so that it can be easily removed. By removing the foreign particle, the risk of ear infection is substantially decreased.
Ear Wax Removal With Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide for medicinal purposes is available in pharmacies. The strength of hydrogen peroxide in the solution has to be only 3 % and not more than that when it has to be used in the ear.
For removing the impacted wax or foreign material that may be responsible for ear infection, you have to tilt your head on one side. Now instill few drops of hydrogen peroxide solution in the affected ear and wait for a while till entire bubbles stop fizzling. Now turn your head in opposite direction to drain the liquid completely.
Even if the use of hydrogen peroxide is considered safe for the ear, its use for treating ear ailments is completely contraindicated when the ear drum is perforated.
Many experts do not favor repeated use of hydrogen peroxide for ear ailments.