We always want to get rid of that yellowish waxy substance which develops in our ear. From cotton buds to baking soda, there is a host of bizarre and sometimes dangerous remedies we have approached to get rid of it. So what is the best way to deal with it? Now, one doctor has claimed the secret can be found in your kitchen itself.
Earwax, medically known as cerumen, is a natural substance produced by glands in the ear canal that has protective, lubricating and antibacterial properties. It helps to protect our inner ears from infections, dust, and dirt, as well as bacteria and other external agents. The wax also moisturizes and keeps the skin from becoming dry, flaky, and itchy.
Dr. David Hill, a pediatrician in Wilmington, North Carolina and a host of a YouTube Channel named ‘Ehowhalth,’ explains a couple of eye-opening facts about ear wax. According to him, ear wax performs two functions, the first one is to act as a physical barrier to prevent dust and particles, and the second one is to act as a chemical barrier. The skin inside the ear is highly delicate and works like a conveyor belt that takes the excessive wax out of the ear. There is usually a narrowing or twist halfway down and the wax simply gets stuck there.
How to get rid of Ear Wax?
In a video, Dr. Hill warns people not to use ear cleaning sticks (such as cotton buds, or Q-tips) as it pushes the wax deep inside the ear, which is not needed. He says the simplest way to get rid of troublesome ear wax is to use a mixture of vinegar and alcohol which softens it and allows it to flow out of the ear more easily.
Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol
An age-old remedy to remove excess wax from your ear is a vinegar and rubbing alcohol solution. The mixture will help dissolve the ear wax. Plus, the alcohol will serve as a drying agent and evaporate at a low temperature and the vinegar will fight bacteria and fungi, and hence prevent any kind of ear infection.
- Mix equal parts of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol in a bowl.
- Soak a cotton ball in the solution.
- Tilt the affected ear toward the sky and then squeeze two or three drops of this solution into the ear.
- Wait for five minutes and tilt your head to the opposite direction so that gravity can bring out the solution as well as the wax.
- Remove the earwax from the outer ear with an ear bud.
- This remedy can also be used to treat swimmer’s ear.
However, he cautioned not to flush fluid forcefully in the ear as some people have holes in their eardrums. He also warns that you should let your doctor perform this procedure.
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NOTE: Wax in the outer ear can be washed with a cloth while in the shower or bath. Approach the above method only for large build ups.