Ear Wax Removal Resources

Why Over-The-Counter Ear Wax Removal Kits May Not Be Your Best Option

Earwax buildup can lead to hearing loss, pain, itching, discharge and an unpleasant odor in the ears. There are at-home kits designed to safely relieve minor wax buildup issues.

Removing wax involves softening it with drops or saline solution (or hydrogen peroxide), followed by tools that remove it. However, these kits can pose risks.

1. They Don’t Come With Instructions

Earwax serves a crucial purpose: it protects ear canals from debris like sand and bugs while simultaneously protecting the eardrum from becoming dry and irritated. But too much earwax build-up can cause hearing loss, an earache, or an uncomfortable fullness and blockage sensation when too much accumulates. Most people can safely remove small amounts with washcloth, paper towel or pinky finger without touching their eardrum; others may require assistance. Luckily there are over-the-counter kits specifically tailored towards helping individuals rid themselves of excess earwax buildup – so there may be help available as an over-the-counter kit intended to do just this task.

Kits like these use liquid drops to soften hardened earwax so it can fall out on its own, while others feature tools for manual removal without touching the eardrum. Experts generally consider them safer alternatives to reaching for cotton swabs that may push wax deeper into your ear canal, potentially leading to cerumen (earwax blockage).

A standard OTC earwax removal kit typically consists of mineral oil or carbamide peroxide (a water-soluble cousin of hydrogen peroxide) drops, to break up tough wax and allow it to slide out freely; along with a plastic loop tool. Some kits also include a bulb syringe so you can flush out your ears if necessary.

There are also other methods available to you for at-home earwax removal, including using a silicone tube to melt and scoop out wax, or employing specialized scrapers to do it for you. Experts generally consider these safe and effective options for at-home use if used appropriately; otherwise they could damage ears further into their canal.

IF YOUR EARS ARE CLOGGED, it is wise to seek medical advice regarding their care from your healthcare provider or doctor. He or she can examine your ears to identify whether the cause may be excessive earwax production or another condition and provide the most suitable course of action.

2. They Can Be Infected

As skin cells lining the ear canal naturally shed and are replaced, their oil secretions from glands combine with this naturally-occurring wax production to form an oily substance called earwax. While in optimal conditions this wax acts to protect its canal against dust or other debris entering into it, when left to accumulate too much it can lead to pain, itching, hearing loss or worse. For some people a regular cleaning regimen is appropriate in keeping wax at bay; experts caution however against products designed specifically to do just this as some products designed to remove it cause more harm than good in doing so.

TikTok trends such as filling your ear canal with hydrogen peroxide and tilting your head back are not advised by experts, who warn it could cause ruptured eardrums or PE tubes due to peroxide liquefying when it hits earwax, forcing further into your canal and blocking sound waves and potentially leading to infection.

There are safer methods available to you for clearing away earwax, such as adding some mineral oil drops or using an irrigation kit like the NeilMed Kyrosol Ear Wax Removal Device. Such kits typically feature either a bulb syringe with rubber or plastic tip designed to insert directly into your ear canal to force a stream of solution (typically water, glycerin and peroxide) down its canal in order to soften and flush out any wax deposits in its path.

If your earwax buildup cannot be relieved with oil and home irrigation kits alone, consulting an ear, nose and throat specialist is always an effective and safe solution. These professionals typically offer clinical earwax removal services such as irrigation or microsuction that may be covered by insurance plans.

Although doctors can employ any number of tools to remove your earwax, most will start by using liquid irrigation such as the Ototek Loop Ear Wax Removal Tool or suction device to loosen and dissolve any existing wax deposits in your ears. After doing this, they’ll either use an antibacterial cleaning solution such as AntibioX to flush it all away, or else opt for another device like an Ototek Loop Ear Wax Removal Tool to systematically eliminate it all.

3. They Can Be Expensive

Earwax usually leaves the ear canal naturally through daily jaw movements, but if it accumulates to block or irritate your eardrum, home kits exist to remove it with care. Most kits involve spraying cleaning solution into your ear canal in order to soften and loosen any buildup of wax that might block its exit – either manually with fingers or using the tool provided with each kit – using this approach is recommended by experts for mild-moderate buildups.

Problematic removal kits can be prohibitively expensive and ineffective; sometimes multiple kits may need to be purchased before finding one that’s suitable. Even then, use of each kit must be implemented properly to avoid further damage to ear canals and further complications with hearing.

While some may consider home earwax removal to be beneficial, this process can be hazardous and painful if done incorrectly. You could damage your ear canal, eardrum or both with improper usage of kits like these; additionally, leaving behind large amounts of wax could obstruct hearing.

Visit an ear, nose and throat doctor regularly in order to avoid these issues and receive any necessary prescriptions if required. They can also assess whether your earwax levels have reached dangerously high levels that require medical intervention.

Some individuals can overdo their attempts at home earwax removal. A friend was so concerned about an earwax buildup that he attempted to remove it himself, only to end up pushing more wax deeper into his ear canal and leading to pain, headaches and loss of balance.

For an effective yet safe way to clean your ears, an electronic ear wax removal kit may be the solution. Many kits even include an ear camera for more accurate and efficient removal of earwax build-up.

4. They Can Be Hard To Use

An effective ear wax removal kit should include everything necessary for removal. Most kits offer drops to soften tough earwax and safe removal tools like a bulb syringe; however, such kits may be difficult to use if you are unfamiliar with how they operate; therefore it is crucial that you find one with easy-to-follow instructions for use.

Some kits may come equipped with tools that you find difficult to manage, like plastic loops resembling mini lassos for your ears. While this may look intimidating at first, if used incorrectly or carelessly it can damage ear canals if used without supervision or proper instruction. A spiraled head might provide better access for waxy build-up in ears to exit more easily.

Standard earwax removal kits typically include hydrogen peroxide drops – the water-soluble cousin of vinegar – that you can drop directly into the ear canal, before using a bulb syringe to force a stream of the solution directly into your ears, which will soften and flush away earwax deposits.

CleanEars offers another spray-based option with its convenient nozzle at the ear opening to deliver its solution directly into your ear canal. It contains spearmint oil for its antiseptic properties, mineral oil to protect your canal, and phytosqualane as a natural lubricant that helps remove earwax build-up.

If your earwax becomes excessive or begins to interfere with hearing, always seek advice from a physician or pharmacist for advice before trying to remove it yourself. Furthermore, those with perforated eardrums or holes should never attempt to remove earwax themselves as this can aggravate their condition further.

About the Author

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Ben Horlock Audiologist

Ben Horlock RHAD MHSAA, is an accomplished audiologist deeply committed to delivering remarkable audiological services.

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