If you feel like your ears are clogged up or blocked, there’s a good chance that it’s a result of earwax buildup. And this is quite normal, so don’t worry!
Earwax serves an important purpose. Your body naturally produces earwax to trap dirt that gets into your ears. It acts as protection for your inner ear and helps prevent bacteria from growing. Without earwax protecting your inner ear, you’d be at a high risk of developing ear infections.
However, sometimes earwax can build up and become impacted. And this can cause several issues, including a reduction in your ability to hear, a feeling of fullness in your ear, headaches, dizziness and ear pain.
The most common cause of impacted earwax might surprise you — it’s something you might be doing every day! Cleaning your ears with cotton swabs is the culprit. This is because when you dig around in your ear with a cotton swab, you’re just pushing the wax deeper rather than cleaning it out.
We see many patients who are concerned they have a hearing loss, when in reality their reduced level of hearing is coming from a buildup of earwax. And this is a problem that can be easily solved with a professional cleaning!
If you think you have an earwax buildup in your ear, be careful when you go searching for advice on the internet. Some of the home remedies you may come across can make your situation worse and can potentially damage your ears.
Let’s explore five common ways to unclog your ears and whether or not you should try them.
#1 – Over-the-Counter Ear Drops
If your case of earwax build-up is mild, then over-the-counter ear drops may be an effective solution.
These over-the-counter ear drops can be purchased at your local pharmacy, and they’re generally recommended for anyone with “a small amount” of earwax. Although, it’s tough to say just how much earwax you have built up without a professional evaluation.
Generally, if your earwax is causing you trouble — you probably have too much.
It can’t hurt to try using ear drops before you can get to a professional. They’re usually priced around $10, making them an affordable option. But don’t expect them to solve your problems entirely if you’re dealing with a large buildup of wax.
#2 – Use Candles
If you Google “how to remove earwax at home” you’re bound to see something about using candles. This is a very popular home remedy — but it’s also very dangerous. You should avoid this method at all costs.
Any time you have candles near your face, you’re risking a nasty burn. And dripping hot wax into your ears is just not a good idea. It can cause damage to your ears and leave you in much worse shape than you were before.
Take our word for it — don’t try this.
#3 – Pick Out the Wax Using a Cotton Swab
Many people try to remove their earwax by using a cotton swab. It can be satisfying to really get in there with a swab, but you’re likely only making the problem worse by pushing the wax deeper into your ear and impacting it further.
And if you dig too deep, you can cause serious damage to your ear.
Try to avoid sticking anything in your ear!
#4 – Use Olive Oil
There’s a good chance you have a bottle of olive oil in your kitchen. Did you know it can be used to remove earwax? This approach has actually been used for many years, and it’s pretty safe if you use a small amount.
Olive oil helps to soften the impacted earwax, and eventually helps it to fall out of your ears. This will take consistency over a few days.
Be warned that this approach isn’t for everyone — if you have an allergy to olive oil or if you have a ruptured eardrum, steer clear of this method.
#5 – Visit a Hearing Care Professional
This final approach is the safest and the one we recommend if you’re experiencing any signs of blocked ears.
If you’re noticing that your ears are blocked, it’s probably too late for home remedies to do much. In this case, you’ll want the expertise of a professional on your side.
Earwax removal is usually handled by using warm water. Water is injected into the ear canal to soften up the earwax so that it falls out on its own or is flushed out by using an irrigation method. Buildup that is more stubborn can be painlessly removed with a curette.
When you visit your hearing care professional, they’ll be able to identify any other reasons you’re experiencing blocked ears and address them as needed.
Earwax Removal Experts in Southern Ontario
If you’re looking for professionals to help you with earwax removal in Southern Ontario, then our team at Hometown Hearing Centre has you covered.
We’ve helped hundreds of people who are in your exact situation.
With 18 convenient locations and a team dedicated to clinical excellence and quality service, you can rest assured that your hearing health is in capable hands.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions that we may be able to answer, please click here for full information and to find the contact information for your local office. Or, request a callback.