Using oil, water, kits, and professionals is the best way to clean your ears and keep everything intact.
Waxy, blocked up ears. It isn’t everyone’s favorite topic at the dinner table. It is a reality many of us have to deal with though, and how to get the wax out in a way that doesn’t endanger your ear drum can be a puzzle.
Doctors are up in arms about the use of Q-Tips to get the job done, and there’s some logic behind their view. That being said, have you ever met someone who stuck a Q-tip too far up their ear canal and lost their hearing for life? Probably not, but here’s the deal.
In a worst case scenario, you could land yourself or your child a perforated ear drum, if you use a Q-tip to get that gunk out. This can happen if you push the tip too far into your ear and burst the membrane that forms your ear drum. It’s is a thin sheath that sits between your ear canal and your middle ear, and you need it to hear.
If it bursts, you may see some blood coming from your ear, feel a sensation of fullness in it, experience pain and hearing loss, and develop a fever.
The other problem doctors site when considering Q-tips for cleansing is that you can be pushing your wax further down into your ear canal by using them. If you’re cautious, and really drag the tip out of your ear every time, being careful not to push anything inside, you could use them effectively. If you don’t though, you could be creating a big ball of wax deeper inside, and ultimately be making matters worse.
So how can you address your blockage? Here are 4 best ways:
1) Mineral Oil
If you have access to baby oil or mineral oil and you know you don’t have a puncture in your eardrum, drop some into your ear canal. Use an eye dropper to do it, and let the solution sit. It will soften the wax accumulated in your canal. You can repeat this over time and the excess ear wax should fall out of your ears, likely on your pillow while you sleep.
Run a soft towel over your outer ear to dry it and clean it.
2) Warm Water
If you don’t have access to oil, warm water in an eye dropper can also have the same effect. Drop some in your ear and let it soften the wax. Again, only do this if your ear drum is healthy, otherwise you have liquid going into space in your ear that should stay dry.
Repeat the action over a few days and wait for the wax to come out.
3) Earwax Removal Kit
You can purchase ear wax removal kits at the drugstore that provide a similar function as the water or oil treatment above. Try it out, and it could do the trick.
4) See Your Doctor
If you can’t solve the problem on your own, and your ears still seem blocked, talk to your doctor. They can successfully remove your wax while keeping your ears safe.
Photo credits: Denis Rozhnovsky/Bigstock; argus456/Bigstock; Hofmeester/Bigstock