Earwax is a substance secreted by the cerumen gland, which are found in the ear canal. It’s purpose it to protect the ear canal by trapping dust and other elements from entering the ear. Some people have a wet type of earwax, while other has wax that is dry. Wet earwax is easy to remove since you only need a cotton swab to wipe it off the ears. On the other hand, earwax that is dry tends to be more difficult to clean out because it is solid and sometimes flakey and doesn’t adhere to the tips of a cotton bud.
If you have hard earwax, here are things you can do to remove it from your ear.
- Irrigation. A doctor or ENT should be the one to perform this method. For one thing, you will need special tools to get this done. In this method, a bit of water that has been tempered will be put inside the ear so that the wax can be easily removed suing a curette. Make sure that the water used is warm because using cold water can cause you some dizziness. Don’t attempt to do this yourself since you can’t see how far down the ear canal the wax is located.
- Suction. A doctor should also be the one to perform the suctioning of the earwax. The doctor will use good lighting and some type of microscope to be able to see an enlarged view of the ear canal. A suction is created to help draw out the hard wax. A curette may also be employed to help pry out the hard wax.
- Use earwax drops. There are earwax softeners that can be purchased as pharmacies. Usually, these drops contain carbamyl peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Docusate sodium drops can also be purchased. All these solutions are means to be squirted into the ear to help soften the earwax. Place a few drops in the ear and allow it to absorb for about ten minutes or longer. In the morning, the softened wax should naturally fall out of the ear. If you prefer, you may also use a cotton bud to try to clean the rest of the ear.
- Make your own drops. Some people use baby oil or mineral oil to help soften the wax. You can also make your own ear wax solution. In a small bottle, place half a teaspoon of white vinegar, half a teaspoon of water and a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. Give the solution a good swirl and place two to three drops each per ear.
- Consider candling. Candling is another method employed by some people to remove hard earwax. In this method, a lit candle is used and place near the ear to create a suction that will draw out the wax. However, this is very tricky to do so you may want to forgo this treatment option unless you want to risk setting your ear or hair on fire.
People naturally have earwax to protect the sensitive ear canal. Keep in mind never to try to pry deeply into the canal since you may cause damage or infection to your ears. Let a doctor treat your ear problems and have him clean the wax out if it causes you too much discomfort.