Dealing With Earwax

Infants and children who have earwax buildup should be taken to a doctor. Adults can try the following remedies: Add one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to an equal amount of warm water, then:

  • Tilt your head, and put a dropperful of the warmed liquid into your blocked ear. Leave it there for three minutes, keeping your head tilted.
  • Let the liquid run out onto a towel or tissue. The wax should have loosened and become soft enough to wipe away from the outer ear with a cotton ball. Repeat if necessary.
  • If the wax is particularly stubborn, soften it up first with three or four drops of castor oil or glycerin. You may need to do this several times.

Dealing With Earwax Over-the-counter liquid earwax softeners can help to loosen earwax. But avoid using them if you have an ear infection or eardrum rupture.

You can also use a soft rubber bulb syringe to dislodge wax by gently rinsing the ear canal with warm water and hydrogen peroxide — except if you have an earache, fever, discharge or a perforated eardrum.

Never try to remove earwax with a cotton-tipped swab. You could damage your eardrum or cause an infection.

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