Man using Qtip for ear wax

Ear wax is beneficial to your ears. It protects your ear canal and inner ear from debris and bacteria that cause infections. But if your earwax, or cerumen, is affecting your hearing, it’s time to act. Here are some tips to help you keep your earwax under control without harming your ears.

Use Warm Water

You can wash your ears with soapy water or let the water from your showerhead run in your ear. Warm water will help your ears naturally expel old earwax.

Mineral Oil Softens Earwax

Place a cotton ball dipped in mineral oil in your ear for 10 minutes once a week. The oil will loosen excess wax and lubricate your canal so it can expel the buildup. Avoid using scented products like baby oil because the fragrance can irritate your ear canal.

Ear Cleaning Drops

Excess earwax and moisture can make your ears uncomfortable. Lay on your side and put a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol in the affected ear. It will act as a drying agent and help the water evaporate.

Hydrogen peroxide is also good for breaking up built-up ear wax. Avoid using these products for more than a few days because overuse can irritate your ears.

Why You Should Stop Using Cotton Swabs

Cotton swabs will push ear wax further into your ear. Inserting anything into your ear can cause earwax compaction, damage your ear canal or even rupture your eardrum. We never recommend using cotton swabs to clean inside your ears, though you can clean your outer ear with them safely.

Talk to an Audiologist

Consult an audiologist if you have an excessive amount of earwax for an extended period. They will be able to determine the cause that’s contributing to your problem.

If all else fails, an audiologist can safely remove excess earwax with a specialized tool or flush your ear canal with water using a non-needled syringe. We ask that you don’t try these at home. Leave both procedures to our doctors.

If you need assistance maintaining excess earwax, contact our experienced staff at Manatee Ear Center in Bradenton, Florida. We serve Manatee and Sarasota Counties with top-rated hearing services and treatments.