About Ear Wax
- It is normal for ear wax to be produced by the skin in your ear canal
- The ear wax helps to trap dust and prevent infection
- Ear canals are self-cleaning. Usually with showering, bathing, chewing and normal daily activities, ear wax will fall out of the ear canal by itself
- Sometimes your ear can become packed with wax
- Your ear canal is a dead-end tube. Placing small items such as a Q-tip in your ear to remove wax may remove a small bit but usually packs most of the wax deeper into the ear canal where it cannot come out easily on its own
- Items placed in your ear canal may scratch the wall or puncture the ear drum and cause pain, bleeding or infection
- Do your ears feel blocked?
- Do your ears have a fullness sensation?
- Do you have itchy ears?
- Are you having trouble hearing out of one or both ears?
- Have you noticed a brown discharge from your ears?
- Did you push wax into your ear with a Q-tip, bobby pin, pick or finger?
- Do you wear hearing aids and notice excess wax on your hearing aids when you remove them?
- Never place anything smaller than your elbow in your ear!
- No Q-tips, fingernails, bobby pins, tooth picks or pen caps!
- You can use OTC ear drops to help soften and remove ear wax
- OTC products include Debrox, Cerumenx and Murine Ear Wash
- Place 4-5 drops at the opening of your ear canal. Keep that ear and that side of your head pointed toward the ceiling for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, go into the shower and use body temperature water to flush out the drops and ear wax. Repeat this process up to twice daily for 1 week
- Ear wax drops may completely block your hearing temporarily and you may feel or hear them bubbling
- It is helpful to use these drops 5 days prior to your appointment so soften the wax and make your ear cleaning as comfortable as possible
- You can irrigate your ear canal with body temperature water in the shower. Do not use a bulb syringe on yourself because you can scratch or injure the ear.