Stubborn Ear Wax Build Up: Symptoms & How To Remove It Safely?

Earwax is synthesized by glands in the ear canal. It helps trap dust and other small particles and helps stop them from reaching, impairing or infecting the eardrum. Typically, the wax dries up and falls out of the ear, along with the dust and debris.

Obstruction or impaction may also occur when the wax gets pushed deep in to the ear canal.

Earwax occlusion is known to affect approximately 6 % of people and is a very common ear problem seen by ENTs.

The commonest cause of impaction is the use of any object like bobby pins, clips and napkin corners to get rid of superficial ear wax; this tends to push the rest of the wax deep into the ear. People who use earplugs and hearing aids are also susceptible to earwax obstruction.

Stubborn Ear Wax Symptoms

Symptoms of stubborn earwax impaction are:

  • Ear pain
  • Giddiness
  • Itching
  • Buzzing in the ear
  • Reduced hearing
  • Drainage from the ear.
  • A sensation of fullness in the ear.

How To Remove Stubborn Ear Wax Safely?

Follow these simple guidelines to eliminate ear wax and its associated symptoms:

  • Soften the ear wax.
    Using a dropper, apply a few drops of baby oil, glycerin, mineral oil or olive oil or hydrogen peroxide in to the ear canal 3 times a day for 5 days.
  • After about 2 days, when the wax has softened, use a rubber-bulb syringe to spray warm water into the ear. Make sure that you do it very gently. Tilt the head and pull your outer ear up and back to straighten the ear canal. After irrigating, tip your head to the side to let the water drain out. Thereafter, gently dry the outer ear with a napkin.
  • You may have to repeat the entire process of softening and irrigation 4 – 6 times before all the surplus ear wax falls out. On the other hand, it is very vital for you to remember that, the softening agents may only loosen the outer layer of the ear wax and cause it penetrate deeper in the ear canal. In case your symptoms do not ameliorate after a week, you need to see the doctor.
  • Also, ear wax elimination kits available and they are decidedly effectual in removing the earwax buildup. In case you are uncertain about which one is right for you, confer with your health care provider for guidance on which one to select, how to use as well as other earwax-elimination techniques.
  • Never dig out stubborn and hardened earwax with bobby pins, paper clips, or cotton swabs. You may end up pushing the earwax farther into the canal and cause serious impairment.
  • In really obstinate cases, the ENT will remove the ear wax using a device called a curette or via suction whilst examining the ear. He may also use a rubber-bulb syringe filled with warm water to sluice out the ear wax.
  • If you seem to be having a recurrent problem, your ENT specialist may advise you to use a wax-removal medication, every 4 – 8 weeks as a preventive measure. However, these drops are known to irritate the delicate skin of the ear canal and ear drum, hence, use them very cautiously and only on the instruction of your doctor.

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