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Congestion of the outer ear canal due to an accumulation of ear wax is among the most prevalent causes of temporary hearing loss. If you are fairly confident that ear wax is the resource for your temporary hearing loss, you almost certainly want to clean out your ears. Having said that, you need to clean them safely and correctly, or else you may cause permanent injury to your ears.

To emphasize health and safety when cleaning your ears, let’s begin with what not to do. Avoid the use of cotton swabs or any other foreign objects that you insert into your ears, which can cause the ear wax to become even more compressed. Also, avoid any gadget that shoots a pressurized stream of water into your ears, such as a WaterPik, as this can rupture the eardrum. Lastly, if you know that you have a perforated ear drum, leave cleaning your ears to a specialist. The same holds true if you suspect you have an ear infection. Symptoms indicating a possible ear infection or ruptured ear drum include fluid draining from the ears, vomiting or diarrhea, ear pain and fever.

Cleaning your ears properly at home can be done with bulb or syringe and a rinse solution from your local drugstore. Purchase the rinse solution (generally carbamide peroxide) at a local drugstore or blend your own solution by mixing equal portions mineral oil, glycerin and 3%-4%.

When applying this solution, it’s best to lay down on your side over a towel or lean over a basin, bowl or sink; then you just squeeze the solution carefully into each ear, trying to avoid touching the ear with the bulb or syringe. Allow the solution to remain in your ear for a few minutes (or, if you use hydrogen peroxide, until you stop hearing bubbling), and then repeat the process for the other side.

After the ear wax has been softened and loosened by the solution, rinse each ear again with lukewarm (not hot) water, and then dry your outer ears gently with a towel. You can repeat this procedure twice per day for 2 or 3 days if your ears still feel obstructed. If the problems continues any longer, see your a hearing specialist or audiologist.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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