Earwax plays an important role in protecting the ear against dirt, fungi and bacteria. Also known as cerumen, earwax helps form a physical and chemical barrier in order to protect the sensitive skin in the auditory canal.
According to Dr. David Hill, a paediatrician in Wilmington, North Carolina, earwax should be left alone in most cases.
“Most of the time, if you have wax in your ear, you just want to leave it alone,” Dr. Hill said.
But for troublesome wax, there’s a concoction that will help soften it.
“You can also make a mixture of one part white vinegar to one part alcohol, shaken. That can help loosen up the wax and force it to flow out,” he explained.
The fluid must not be flushed forcefully into the ear because some people have holes in their ear drums which can result to serious infection.
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He also recommends the use of baby oil or mineral oil for large build ups. By soaking a cotton ball on the solution and squeezing two or three drops of it into the ear, it can loosen up the wax so that it will flow out of the ear more easily.
Furthermore, Dr. Hill warned against the use of Q-tips or cotton buds as these will only push the earwax further into the ear canal.
What are the Causes of Earwax Buildup?
According to Healthline, earwax buildup happens when your glands produce more earwax than necessary. In some cases, it will harden and block the ear.
Oftentimes, people use cotton swabs, Q-tips, bobby pins or other objects to remove the earwax buildup. However, these objects only push the wax deeper resulting to a blockage.
People who frequently use earphones are more prone to wax buildup.