Ear Wax: How to Approach it?

There are two types of wax in the ear, one is a sticky which is yellow orange in color and other one is yellow whitish kind of ear wax. The other name for ear wax is sermon and its function is to protect ear drum from foreign material like dust and dirt. Usually if you leave it alone and the amount of it are not too much, it will dry and slowly drain out; but sometimes the amount is more and can obstruct the ear canal and cause decrease of hearing. Occasionally, the parents are over eager to get the wax out of their children ear canal with cotton buds or with something sharp which results in pushing the wax more inside the ear and some time even damaging and perforating the ear drum, which is absolutely a wrong way of approaching it. So as a physician we never advocate using the above technique for cleaning the ear canal of wax, but if you can visualize it at the tip of the ear canal it can be easily removed. A puncture ear drum may not heal anymore and can leave the child with some deficiency in hearing.

You can use softening fluid like few drops of mineral oil couple of time daily for 3 days to soften the wax or use a liquid call Otosol (do not use otosol if ear drum is punctured). Usually the wax in the plugged ear canal loosens and is discarded, or otherwise you need to go to your doctor for removing it. Using pin or other objects in the ear canal can push the wax deeper creating blockage or damage the tympanic membrane. Some people are prone to produce too much ear wax, however to reduce the ear wax try not to get water, soap or shampoo in your ear canal when taking shower, and keep your ear dry.

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