How to remove ear wax safely at home
Learn how to safely remove ear wax from the comfort of your own home and without an expensive trip to the doctor
What are the benefits to cleaning your ears?
How do you remove ear wax safely? The reason we feel tempted to clean our ears is because of a substance called cerumen, commonly called earwax. It’s normal for your body to produce it, and it actually helps protect and lubricate your ears. If you didn’t have earwax, your ears would probably be itchy and dry. Earwax even has antibacterial properties, which means your ears are self-cleaning. Earwax is like a filter for your ears, keeping out harmful things like dirt and dust, and trapping them so they don’t go deep inside. If it does build up inside your ear canal, especially if it clogs the canal, then you should know how to safely remove ear wax at home before it impairs your hearing.
Why would you want to remove ear wax safely at home instead of going to the doctor?
Ears are usually self-cleaning and generally don’t need any help as the earwax works its way through the ear canal. When you chew and move your jaw, you help move old earwax out of the ear canal to the ear opening. That’s where it usually dries up and falls out. If you are experiencing a build up of earwax in the ear canal you can go to a doctor, but this typically is a basic part of hygiene that can be performed at home with the right tools.
What should you do before starting to remove ear wax safely?
It is safe to use warm water to irrigate the ear, doing this at room temperature is best. Do flush the ear gently, as a forceful flow of water can damage the ear. Don’t stick any objects like a Q-Tip into the ear, this can cause the wax to be pushed further into the ear. Do use ear drops to loosen the wax if it is hard or difficult to remove.
You can buy over-the-counter ear drops like Debrox or you can use some home remedies like baby oil, mineral oil or glycerin. Using an eyedropper, apply a few drops (5-10) of warm oil or glycerin in the ear canal. This should soften the ear wax and help it work it’s way out naturally or make it easier to flush out.
How do you remove ear wax safely?
A modern approach to earwax removal is to use a digital otoscope with a wax removal attachment. Teslong makes a number of devices that are safe to use because you can see inside your ear the entire time you are using the device. Digital otoscopes have integrated LED lights to illuminate the ear canal and help the tip of the otoscope avoid your eardrum. If you want to know how to remove ear wax safely at home, the digital otoscope is the best method. The soft silicone-tipped spoon attaches to the end of the otoscope and that combined with the camera gives you the perfect tool to scrape out pieces of earwax.
What are some ear wax removal methods?
Several earwax removal methods that are not recommended include earwax candles, cotton swabs and hairpins. Other methods include various solutions that help soften the wax as well as suction devices to safely remove ear wax at home. We recommend a digital otoscope with a silicone ear spoon to scrape out the wax because it gives you a perfect view of the ear canal and allows you to see what you are doing and avoid contact with the delicate eardrum.
What might happen if you don’t clean your ears?
If you never clean your ears then your ear canal might become clogged or even impacted, then it might be time to visit a doctor. Your doctor can remove excess wax using a small, curved instrument called a curet or by using suction while inspecting the ear. Your doctor can also flush out the wax with a syringe filled with warm water.