Earwax or cerumen is a natural substance from the glands in the ear canal with lubricating and antibacterial properties. The function of the wax is protecting the ears from bacteria and other elements. There is a slow and orderly movement inside the ear canal where earwax and skin cells are moved from the eardrum to the opening ear where it can be removed easily. Sometimes, it can be blocked or impacted with earwax. It accumulates inside the ear canal if an individual uses objects such as Q-tips, bobby pins or cotton swabs which causes the wax to be pushed deep inside the ear. Those who are hearing aids or earplugs are prone to this condition.
Accumulation of earwax is caused by the narrowing of the ear canal due to some forms of infections or disease of the bone or connective tissue as well as diseases of the skin. It can also be caused by a reduced amount of cerumen or an overproduction of as a result of trauma or blockage inside the ear canal.
Symptoms of earwax blockage
- A feeling of fullness inside the ear
- Noises in the ear or tinnitus
- Uncomfortable sensation in the ear
- Temporary loss of hearing
- Itching inside the ear
- Salt water softens the wax that accumulates inside the ear. In ½ cup of warm water, add a teaspoon of salt and mix until salt is completely dissolved. Immerse a cotton ball in the salt solution. Tip the affected ear up and squeeze the cotton ball gently just to instill only a few drops of saline solution into the ear. Remain in that position for at least 3-5 minutes and tilt the head in the opposite direction to drain the water out. Remove the softened wax using a clean cloth.
- Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide least 3% and water. Tilt the head sideways and using a medicine dropper, instill a few drops of the mixture into the ear and allow to soak for a few minutes and tilt the head in the opposite direction to drain out the solution. Clean the outer area of the ear using a clean cloth.
- Flush the ear using warm water to eliminate the excess earwax. Use clean and filtered water. Use a rubber-bulb syringe and fill it with slightly warm water. Tilt the head in an upright position and pull the outer ear to make the ear canal straight, and put a few drops of water into the ear canal. Leave it on inside the ear for at least a minute and drain it by tilting the head to the opposite side. Clean the outer area of the ear using clean cloth.
- Increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids to minimize the accumulation of earwax in the ears. Take the prescribed high quality omega-3 supplement and eat foods rich in omega-3 such as cod liver oil, avocados, walnut, salmon, mackerel and ground flaxseed.