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Removing Impacted Earwax

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Removing Impacted Earwax      by: erbiecastle 07/06/13

Earwax, known medically as cerumen, is normally a useful substance.  Secreted by gland in the outer portion of the ear canal, that wax traps dirt before it gets deep into your ears.  When your ears produce too much wax, however, or you inadvertently push it into the canal by trying to clean it out, cerumen can form a hard plug deep in the ear.  this can cause earaches, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, and balance problems.

You should contact your physician if you develop itching, pain, swelling, tenderness, ringing in the ears, feeling of dizziness or vertigo, or any kind of discharge from the ear (either milky or bloody).  these maybe be signs of a severe ear infection or ruptured eardrum.  Also, consult your doctor if your ear remains blocked because or impacted wax.  If you have the symptoms of a ruptured eardrum, or you have one in the past, do not put oil or any other liquid in your ear without first consulting your doctor.

Easy-does-it, Earwax removal is usually a two-part project -- first the insertion of something to soften up the wax, then an ear wash to flood the gunk and carry it out.  Easier said than done? Here are some tips to help the wax wane.

Try an Ayurvedic Approach

  • Gently massage the area directly behind your earlobe to help loosen the wax.  Then tug the earlobe while opening and closing your mouth.

Soften and Rinse

  • Fill an eyedropper with warm hydrogen peroxide that is body temperature or a little warmer.  Lie down or tilt your jead so that your blocked ear is pointing up.  Drip the hydrogen peroxide into the ear until it feels full.  Wait three minutes before tilting your head the other way over a washbasin or hand towel to let the peroxide drain out.  Now tilt your head back once more and gently squirt warm water from a bulb syringe into your ear.  Let it settle, and then tilt your head to the other side and let it run out again.  Clean away the water and softened wax from your outer ear with washcloth or cotton balls.

  • An alternative to hydrogen peroxide treatment is using oil to soften the wax.  Tilt your head and place a few drops of warm baby oil or mineral oil into the affected ear with an eyedropper.  Let the oil work its way down into your ear.  You can leave it in for up to one hour.  Then, with a bulb syringe, squirt in some warm water to flush the oil out of your ear.  Turn your head from side to side as long as the water continues to drain out.

Air Your Ear

  • After you finish washing the wax out of your ear, use a hair dryer to air-dry them.  set the hair dryer on its coolest setting and hold it about 12 inches away.

The Power of Prevention

  • Whenever you're washing up, rub a damp washcloth around the loops and whorl of your outer ear.  Never stick a cotton swab or any other type of probe into your ear, however.  You'll ram the wax deeper, and since there are no oil glands deep in the ear canal to keep the wax soft, it will harden like a rock.  The other risk is that you could puncture your eardrum or scratch your ear canal.

  • Cut down on consumption of saturated fats found in animal foods like meat and dairy, and minimize your consumption of the hydrogenated fats found in the commercially baked snacks and other processed foods.  Some experts believe these types of fats prompt your body to produce greater amounts of earwax and also make the wax sticker.  Replace these dietary fats with healtier ones, such as those found in cold-water fish, nuts, and seeds.

  • If you wear a hearing aid, wipe it with a tissue every night at bedtime when you remove it.  This gets rid of wax residue before it has time to accumulate.

  • For people who have lot of ear hair -- particularly some older men -- it helps to trim the hair with small scissors or a battery-operated ear-hair trimmer.  The trimming will help prevent earwax from getting enmeshed in hair around the opening of the ear canal.

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