Ear wax buildup is a common concern for a lot of people. However, many people do not realize that a certain amount of wax in the ears is actually healthy, as it helps to protect the ears from things such as dirt, bugs, and infection. A common method of clearing ear wax involves the use of cotton swabs. While this method may remove some of the wax from the ear, it also tends to push the wax further into the ear, causing a blockage that often leads to pain, infection, or even loss of hearing. There are much safer methods of clearing ear wax available, such as heat therapy or using an ear wax dissolver, which can be found in almost any drug store.
Heat therapy can work to soften the ear wax, making it easier to dissolve and clear out. The best way of clearing ear wax using this method is to fill a bottle, such as a hot water bottle, full of warm water. The patient should then lie down with the affected ear situated directly against the bottle. Within a few moments, the wax will begin to melt, making removal much safer and easier than trying to remove a hardened clump of wax.
Most drug stores sell a variety of products designed for clearing ear wax. Most of these products use a chemical known as carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient and are generally equally effective independent of brand name or price. This ingredient often works to dissolve ear wax as long as the directions are followed carefully. If there has been no significant improvement after using this type of product for a few days, it may be wise to consult a physician. If there is a blockage caused by the excess wax in the ear, permanent damage, including hearing loss, may occur if not treated properly.
Sometimes, despite the best efforts of the patient, clearing ear wax at home just is not possible. Most doctors are skilled and experienced at clearing ear wax, and the process generally does not take very long. Some doctors use a device that squirts a thin stream of water into the ear, dissolving the ear wax buildup. Others use an instrument that gently and safely scoops out the excess wax buildup without causing damage to the inner portion of the ear. Still another medical device used for clearing ear wax somewhat resembles a small vacuum that uses gentle suction to remove the excess wax.