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What is the most effective way to remove ear wax?

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Quick Answer

Remove earwax from the outer ear with a washcloth and from the inner ear with drops of glycerin, baby oil or similar solutions, advises the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. Commercial drops, hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide also offer effective ways to remedy excess earwax.

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Full Answer

Symptoms such as earache, a feeling of fullness in the ear, partial hearing loss and tinnitus are all symptoms that indicate an accumulation of earwax, notes the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. Less-invasive methods of cleaning are preferred, so it is advisable to avoid inserting foreign objects such as cotton swabs inside the ear canal.

A physician can utilize irrigation or syringing to remove earwax, or a commercial irrigation kit can be used, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. Warm solutions before using them to prevent dizziness, and these solutions typically consist of things such as water and saline. Otolaryngologists recommend dissolving a few drops in the ear up to 30 minutes before treatment and then suctioning with a syringe. This process is neither recommended nor effective for those with diabetes or other diseases that weaken the immune system.

Removing earwax manually is only advisable and effective when done by a physician, notes the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. A doctor uses specialized instruments to magnify the ear canal and then suctions excess earwax. This is the most effective method of earwax removal for diabetes patients, those with eardrum perforations or those for whom other methods have failed.

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