Sunday, May 2, 2021

Hacks to Unblock Clogged Ear Wax at Home | Dr Recommended

*Disclaimer: Content on this site is provided for informational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider before attempting any treatments.

If you've had a blocked ear, you know how annoying it can be. It can vary from a slight annoyance to downright debilitating!

After I had a visit with an Ear Doctor some time ago for an issue unrelated to ear wax, I was advised to stop using ear swabs like Q tips because I had wax build up in my ear. Ever since then, I have had several incidents of my ears getting blocked with wax. I think another part of the problem is because I wash my hair less than I used to, so my ears don't get flushed out as often in the shower. 

Despite having these incidents, I still haven't returned to using ear swabs since that Doctors visit, so I have had to find other ways to get the wax out of my ears. In this post, I'll share what has worked for me and what has not, plus some other tips that you may find helpful if you or a loved one experience an ear blocked from wax. 

Note: What works for me, may not work for you. And, some things that do not work for me, may work for you. 

Murine Ear Drops:

I could feel my ear was getting some wax buildup, so I purchased these Murine Ear Drops as a wax removal system with the ear washer included, thinking this would be a great and easy way to get the wax out. After all, I read some great reviews on it. After just one use, the drops seemed to soften the wax in my ear so much that it felt like it melted further into my ear canal and completely blocked my ear and caused pain in my ear, which I had never had before. It felt like my ear was crazy glued shut and it stayed that way for days, until I tried the next product which is what unblocked my ear.  

It wasn't until after my experience with this products that I looked at the product's 1 star reviews and saw that this happened to a lot of other people. Even if I saw those reviews, I would have probably thought that it wouldn't happen to me as there were a lot more positive reviews on it.

⚠ Although, this one says that it's Doctor recommended, I say use with caution.

Cerumol Ear Drops:

I called the Doctor's office because my ear was now completely blocked after using the previous drops. They wouldn't see me for an ear flush because they were not seeing patients due to covid-19, so they recommended Cerumol Ear Drops to clear my ear. 

I used the Cerumol ear drops as recommended for 4 days in a row. I used them before bed so they would stay in longer for maximum efficacy. I could tell right away that these drops worked differently from the first ones that I used, they didn't fizz in my ear and the scent was very medicinal. My ear pain started to diminish after using the Cerumol drops. Although my ear didn't feel like it was unblocked, I was followed the Doctor's advice to discontinue use after 4 days and my ear did indeed get cleared of the wax.

✅ Dr. Recommended and worked for me.

From Step 3 listed below: 
Area to massage/ press gently to get wax out

Here are the steps that worked for me to get the wax out (Note: all of the information in this post is regarding a blocked ear due to wax build up. Do not attempt if the blockage is from something other than wax).

Steps to Remove Ear Wax:
  1. Use drops of choice in ear. Doctor recommended to me- Olive Oil or Cerumol drops above
  2. After leaving the drops in for minimum 1 hour to overnight, have a warm shower and let the water flow in and around the ear. Do not aim the water directly into the ear canal, just let the water flow around the ear area to clear out any loosened wax
  3. This step is crucial to getting the wax out. I learned this step after a lot of trial and error. After the warm shower, gently press/ massage the area in front of the ear as shown in the photo above. This will gently push the wax out of the ear. Be gentle, if no wax comes out, it is not ready and try again the next day.
  4. Use a tissue and gently wipe the inside of your ear. Do not push or stick your fingers or any other utensils or objects into the ear opening, you risk pushing the wax further into the ear or damaging the ear
  5. Repeat these steps until the ear becomes clear of wax
Note: If you experience any pain or ear remains blocked, consult with your Doctor.

Home Remedies:

Olive Oil is another method that both the Ear Doctor and Family Doctor recommended that I use to loosen ear wax. This is a great thing to do for maintenance to keep your ears from getting blocked, and can be used in place of the Ear Drops if you prefer or can't get the drops. Most people have some olive oil at home, so it's a good DIY.  Just place a few drops of olive oil in each ear and wipe away the excess. The olive oil will soften the wax for easy removal. 

For ear wax blockage, use olive oil following the same steps as outlined above. Any good brand of Extra Virgin Olive Oil should do.

Hydrogen Peroxide is what I've used for most of my life to clear the wax when I feel a build up. It seems to dissolve the wax and you can hear it fizzing away, similar to how the Murine Ear Drops seem to work. Some people swear by this method and I used to as well, however....

⚠ ...Doctors DO NOT recommend this method, so I have switched to both the olive oil and Cerumol Ear Drops for at home use. Olive oil for maintenance and Cerumol Drops for larger build ups of wax.

Here are a few other tips to try and clear the wax:
  • Wash ears thoroughly and regularly in the shower, letting the water flush the ear (just don't aim the water directly into the ear canal)
  • Pinch your nose while keeping your mouth shut and blow out gently. If you hear both ear pop, that's a good thing
  • Try pinching your nose while under water. I always find that a ton of wax comes out of my ears when I do this, whether in the ocean or the bathtub. This is better for maintenance and I would avoid if your ear is blocked.
  • Chewing gum or moving your jaw around can help open the ear canal and loosen wax
  • I've heard that some people use baby oil and/ or baking soda. I have not tried either and they were not recommended to me by any Doctors

In Summary, the Olive Oil and Cerumol drops were both recommended to me by Doctors. I find olive oil is good for regular maintenance and the Cerumol Drops are good when I have a build up of wax. Rinsing the ears with warm water in the shower and the massage/ press method as described in the "Steps to Remove Ear Wax" in this post have helped me the most when I have a blockage from ear wax.

Information in this post is based on having an excess of ear wax. If your ear is blocked for any other reason, do not attempt these hacks and contact your Doctor. If you have pain or loss of hearing, see your Doctor right away. Again, do not stick anything into your ear canal and see your Doctor for advice. These tips are provided for informational purposes only. 

*See Disclaimer at the top of this page.

I hope these hacks help. I know how frustrating it can be. 

Let me know what worked for you. If you have any othet tips to share, please leave them in the comments.

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