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Impacted ear wax

Everyone knows that there is a waxy substance found in human ears that needs to be cleaned from time to time. Some people do it too often, some do not do it right and some never do it. In these cases there is a chance of complications related to the earwax, which can result in infections, ear damage and impacted earwax.

About earwax

Ear wax is a substance comprised of wax secreted from the glands, dirt particles and dead skin cells. This substance has a very important purpose. It traps the dirt, the bacteria and other harmful agents and particles and prevents them from penetrating the inner ear.

Moderate production of ear wax is beneficial for the ear, but sometimes, due to different factors, there is too much wax produced and it should be removed. It is best to do so using small cotton swabs or Q-tips, but this has to be done carefully, in order to avoid damage to the eardrum.

If there is too much earwax, or if during cleaning it was pushed back with the Q-tip, it can accumulate, harden and become impacted.

If this happens, the symptoms may include ear pain, itching, tinnitus, cough and vertigo. People who experience these symptoms often try to mend the problem themselves, and if they use Q-tips again, they can push the impacted earwax even deeper and actually aggravate the problem. Fortunately, here are safer and more effective ways to solve the problem with impacted earwax.

How to remove impacted earwax

The safest thing to do is to have the impacted earwax removed by a medical professional. Those who want to do it themselves, at home, can use an oil solution, like baby oil or liquid glycerin, and pour it slowly in the ear using a dropper. The head should be tilted with the affected ear facing the ceiling, and after the oil is applied, the ear should be covered with a cotton ball for a while.

After this, a rubber bulb syringe filled with warm water is used to irrigate the ear, tilting the head so the ear faces the floor. The water, the oil and the earwax will come out and the ear will be clean again.

The same procedure, only this time using a solution of equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and warm water instead of oil, can be used in children, who often suffer from impacted earwax.

In some cases the procedure needs to be repeated over the course of three to five days before all the impacted earwax comes out. If the symptoms persist after this period, it is recommended to see a doctor.

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