Earwax is a very common problem of the ears. Many of us find it unclean, but it is not the case. It is a natural mechanism of the body to protect the eardrum, and throw out any foreign particles that enter our ears. Children and elderly people are the ones who are worst affected by this. Most of us think that any pointed and long object can be inserted into the ear for cleaning purposes, and so we pick up anything around us like car keys, bobby pins, and paper clips to remove the earwax. Cotton swabs are believed to be a safe tool; however, that is not true. One major disadvantage of cotton swabs is that they tend to push the earwax further into the ear canal. The right tools are necessary for cleaning of the ears, because the ear canal and eardrum are sensitive parts of our body, and even a mild, abnormal touch can cause injury or damage to them. Ear cleaning takes just a few minutes when you use the right kind of tools.
Instead of using any ear drops that are available over the counter, use carbamide peroxide solution for earwax removal. It helps to make the earwax soft and loose, and its removal becomes an easy task. Put a few drops of this solution into the ear, and then block the ear with small cotton plugs. Wait for about half an hour during which the carbamide solution foam will break up the earwax, and you may hear the bubbling sound of the foam in your ear. After half an hour, take out the cotton plug and wash the outer portion of the ear with warm water. You can use a rubber syringe for the washing process.
However, carbamide peroxide solution does not suit everyone, and those allergic to this chemical should not use it. If there are symptoms of any ear infection or injury (for instance any kind of liquid discharge, bleeding or pain), it should not be used without consulting a doctor. It should not be given to children below 12 years of age. If, even after using this solution for 4 days, you are unable to get any relief, you should consult your doctor immediately.
This is a very simple instrument for removing earwax that can be used at home, and you do not have to visit the physician. It is made up of plastic, is long in shape, and consists of a small loop at one end. Slip in the looped end inside the ear carefully along one side, and move it over to the other side. As a result, the earwax will get scooped into the loop, and when you take out the loop, the earwax will easily come out of the ear. Due to the narrow tip of the loop, there is no possibility of the wax getting pushed further inside.
Irrigation and Curette
This technique is mainly used for the removal of dry flakes of earwax, and should not be attempted at home. When you visit a doctor for getting your ears cleaned, the first thing the doctor will do is to wash out the earwax by putting warm water into the ear canal using a syringe. This warm water will loosen up the earwax, which is then washed out. This process of ear canal cleaning is known as irrigation. In some cases, when this does not produce the desired result, doctors use the curette technique. Curette is a small tool made up of metal that has a ring at one of its ends. It is a painful procedure, and should be used by skilled professionals only. Irrigation too may be a cause of a lot of discomfort.
This is an age-old technique of removing earwax, using the heat of a candle, and has gained popularity recently. Here, a hollow candle made of beeswax is lit up, and the base is placed in the ear canal for a brief period of time. It is believed that a vacuum is created by the burning flame of the candle, which sucks out the earwax. Once the wax is removed from the canal, you can see the candle base turned dark brown. Most researchers opine that it is not only an ineffective tool, but can also be dangerous if any hot molten wax falls into the ear canal if the instructions are not followed properly. This method can also cause permanent damage to the ear, and there is also the risk of skin and hair getting burned.
The problem of earwax should not be neglected, as it can lead to other ear problems like severe pain, hearing loss, and cough. Though some of the earwax removal methods we have discussed here can be used at home, it is advisable to consult a physician before you use any of them.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.