The research base shows us that in controlled experimental trials of various substances used to soften or promote removal of cerumen, there was no strongly favorable product, and lukewarm distilled water and saline solutions performed just as well as most other products. The only product that was minimally more effective was off-label use of a medication for another condition, which neither audiologists nor dispensers are permitted to recommend.
The biggest reason for that is that earwax is more than 50% skin cells. And you don't really want to put something in your ear that is good at dissolving skin cells, right? What most of the peroxides (hydrogen or carbamide) are doing is introducing oxygen bubbles under the dried wax to possibly lift it off the canal skin. And what most of the oils are doing is softening the dried skin areas that are catching and stuck.
Get your ears checked by someone who knows what they're doing, and ask for personalized advice. Not having that route of care puts you at risk for lasting damage.
It is best to have your ears examined by a medical professional trained in cerumen management, such as an ENT or audiologist, to determine if there is excess cerumen and if the ear canal and eardrum are healthy. This can be done by otoscopy and tympanometry. At that point the professional can give you the best recommendation for removing any excess earwax. At my facility I can show you a picture of what is in your ear canal on a big screen TV with a video otoscope device. And I can explain how the tympanogram can be used to evaluate the eardrum. I wouldn’t recommend you proceed with any over the counter earwax removal procedure until you have had the appropriate professional evaluation and recommendation.
Hydrogen peroxide drops at a very low concentration have traditionally been used to clear wax from ears. A strong preparation can damage skin of Ear canal and ear drum too.
It is far safer to use Olive oil, 2-3 drops two to three times a day for 2-3 days and wax gets dissolved. One can go to Family Physician to syringe the ears or use Ear suction clearance too.
Yes - it is safe to use hydrogen peroxide to remove/soften earwax. Most eardrops on the market contain hydrogen peroxide. It softens and helps to dissolve the wax. We often recommend to our patients a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. We also recommend scheduling more frequent visits to the office for those who are more prone to wax buildup so one of our Doctors of Audiology can perform cerumen management.
Please be aware this is for healthy ears only! Consult a doctor otherwise.
The safest way to remove wax buildup from your ears is to visit your doctor. At your appointment, your doctor can use special instruments, like a cerumen spoon, forceps, or suction device, to clear the blockage. Many offices also offer professional irrigation.
If you choose to try to remove wax at home, the following are the safest methods to try on your own:
Many pharmacies sell over-the-counter ear drops that soften wax. These drops are typically a solution. They may contain:
Place the specified number of drops into your ear, wait a certain amount of time, and then drain or rinse out your ear. Always follow the instructions on the package. Call your doctor if your symptoms continue after treatment.
You may also choose to irrigate your ears using a syringe. In this process, you’ll gently rinse out the ear canal using water or a saline solution. This method is often more effective if you first use some type of wax softener 15 to 30 minutes before irrigating.
It’s best to warm the solution to your body temperature to avoid dizziness.
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