There is a Correct and Incorrect Way to Clean Ears and Dissolve Ear Wax

Obstruction of the outer ear canal from a build up of ear wax is one of the most prevalent causes of short-term hearing loss. If you are rather confident that ear wax is the source of your temporary hearing loss, you almost certainly want to clean your ears. Although this is a natural wish, it is vital that you understand how to clean your ears safely, without causing damage to your hearing or to the sensitive tissues of your ear.

To emphasize safety when cleaning your ears, we will start with what not to do. Do not insert any physical objects into your ear. No matter if it‚Äôs a cotton swab or other object, you’re very likely to make the problem worse by further compressing the ear wax if you go poking around in your ear. Never, use any product that injects water under pressure. The stream of pressurized water can perforate your eardrum. Finally, if you think you might have either an ear infection or a punctured eardrum, don’t attempt to clean your ears at home. Have a hearing specialist do it instead. If you think you might have an infection, common symptoms to look for include fluid draining from the ears, ear pain, vomiting or diarrhea and fever.

For effective ear cleaning at home, all you need is a syringe or bulb of some kind (available at any pharmacy) and a special solution with which to rinse out the ears. You can purchase a carbamide peroxide solution at the drug store, or mix your own solution using equal measures of 3 to 4 percent, mineral oil and glycerin.

To make use of the solution, gently squeeze the solution into the ear with the syringe or bulb. It often works best to lay down on your side with a towel on hand to catch any drips. Try to avoid touching the ear with the syringe or bulb if you can. The solution takes time to work, so keep it in each ear for a couple minutes, and then repeat for the other ear.

After this rinse solution has softened and loosened the ear wax, rinse your ears with lukewarm water, and then dry your ears completely with a soft towel, being careful not to stick it into the ear canal. If your ears still seem blocked, repeat a couple of times a day for 2-3 days. Talk to your an audiologist or hearing specialist if the problem continues.