It’s time to talk ear wax, and before you grab the Q-Tips, you can rest assured that ear wax is a sign of perfectly healthy ears. Ear wax acts as a protecting agent from things like dust, bacteria, and other harmful organisms.
Your ears are highly intricate and actually have the ability to self-clean! When you chew or talk, ear wax is pushed to the outer opening of your ear where it will flake and fall out — no cotton swabs needed.
In some instances, however, routine maintenance is necessary.
How Does Ear Blockage Happen?
Some people are just naturally prone to producing more ear wax, and that’s normal! Many other times, ear blockage is caused by well-intentioned cleanings with cotton swabs that only push the wax further back into the ear.
How Can I Tell if My Child’s Ears Are Blocked?
If your child describes or exhibits any of these sensations, they might have excessive wax buildup in the ear canal and require gentle impacted ear wax removal.
- Stuffy feeling in ears
- Crackling sounds
- Mild earache
- Difficulty balancing
Luckily, it is easy to remove ear wax naturally right at home with any of these methods. Before performing these methods at home, we encourage you to consult with a medical professional to ensure safe home practices.
- Olive Oil or Baby Oil — One of the most effective ways to break down impacted wax is with olive or baby oil. The key in how to remove ear wax with olive oil is to ensure that the oil is warmed to body temperature (about 98 degrees). Simply fill a dropper with warm oil, gently insert a few drops into your child’s ears, and have them lay sideways for ten minutes on each side to allow the oil to work. (You may want to have them lay their head on a towel).
- Warm Water — Using salt water for ear wax removal is a great method for those skeptical of putting materials other than water in their ears. Simply warm up a ¼ cup of water (to about 98 degrees). Place up to 6 drops in your child’s ears and have them lay sideways, letting gravity do the work.
- Hydrogen Peroxide (3% Solution) — Removing ear wax with hydrogen peroxide is perhaps the most common at-home method. You can follow the same procedure (no need to heat hydrogen peroxide, however) and have your child lay down for about 5 minutes while the hydrogen loosens up wax buildup.
With any of the methods above, you can expect chunks of wax to fall out 1-2 days after the at-home remedy. Depending on the level of buildup, your child may require treatment more than once.
These methods are effective at clearing simple wax buildups, but if you notice any blood, or your child expresses pain or hearing loss, we advise you call us or your medical professionals immediately.