Can hardened ear wax be removed at home?


Quick Answer

Hardened ear wax may be softened with the use of an over-the-counter wax removal aid and gently flushed out with a small bulb syringe, as stated by WebMD. See a doctor before attempting at-home removal of uncomfortable, hard ear wax.

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Full Answer

Ear wax is a natural secretion found in the inner ear that helps catch dust and debris. It is also thought to help fight off infection. Sometimes, ear wax hardens in the ear canal and can block the ear drum or become uncomfortable. According to WebMD, it may be possible to remove ear wax at home, but it is best to see a doctor before attempting the process.

  1. Place drops in ear
  2. Tilt the head to the side and place the recommended amount of ear drops into the ear canal. This amount is found in the instructions on the box. Keep the drops in the ear for about 5 minutes.

  3. Drain affected ear
  4. Tilt the head in the other direction and allow the drops to drain out. Repeat the process with the other ear, if needed. This process may be done over the course of several days to soften ear wax for it to naturally come out of the ear canal.

  5. Flush with syringe
  6. After draining, use a bulb syringe filled with clean, warm water to gently flush out the ear. Don't force the water into the ear as it can cause damage or get trapped behind wax. If the at-home treatment is not working to remove the wax, consider visiting the doctor to have the ear wax manually removed.

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