It can sometimes be a little gross to talk about it, but earwax is actually very normal for the health of your ears. Everyone needs earwax to keep their ears healthy and functioning properly. But too much earwax can lead to blockages, earaches and even infections. Fortunately, you can easily get rid of it with an ingredient from the kitchen: olive oil!
Method 1 of 2: Remove earwax from your ear with olive oil
Step 1. Do not use olive oil if you have any other ear disease
While olive oil is almost always safe to use if you are otherwise healthy, certain injuries or conditions can leave your ear too sensitive to it. If you have any of the following problems, talk to your doctor before taking any action:
- Perforated eardrum
- Regularly recurring ear infections
- Hearing loss
- A condition that requires you to keep your ears dry
Step 2. Heat the olive oil
Olive oil softens the wax, making it easier to get it out. Before you put the oil in your ears, it should be about body temperature -- 37ºC. This is the temperature of your inner ear, and the oil feels more comfortable when the temperature is about the same. Warm up two to three tablespoons of olive oil.
- Make sure you don't make the oil too hot, or you could damage your eardrum.
- Although olive oil is widely used, it is not the only option. You can also use hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, baby oil, or mineral oil.
Step 3. Add some essential oil if you like
A blockage can also have bacteria in your ear, which can lead to an ear infection. Some people therefore choose to add essential oil with antibacterial properties to kill the bacteria trapped in the ear due to the blockage. But the olive oil alone is effective enough to clear the blockage. Always test a few drops of the oil on your skin before putting it in your ear to make sure it doesn't irritate. Add about four drops of essential oil to the heated olive oil. Examples of essential oils you can use are:
- garlic oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Lavender oil, which is also safe to use with children
- oregano oil
- St John's wort oil
Step 4. Put some of the mixture in a pipette
Once you've mixed the essential oil with the olive oil, put some of the mixture in a pipette. Then you have the right amount of solution and you can easily pour the olive oil into your ear.
Step 5. Put two drops of the solution in your ear
Instead of filling your entire ear with the oil, just put a few drops in it, which can then soak into the wax. Tilt your head so you can keep the oil in it for five to ten minutes.
You can also hold a tissue to your ear to catch any oil that may spill when you raise your head
Step 6. Repeat this process two to three times a day
The olive oil probably won't work all at once. Repeat the procedure two to three times a day for about three to five days. That should be long enough to dissolve the wax and clear the blockage.
Step 7. Consider ejaculating your ear
While the olive oil may have softened the wax, sometimes it takes a little more to get it out. You can squirt out the affected ear if necessary. Using a pipette with a rubber ball (like a baby's nose to clear snot), tilt your head and gently spray warm water into the ear canal.
- Be very careful because you can damage the eardrum if you spray the water into your ear with too much pressure.
- You can pull your ear up and back a bit to straighten the ear canal for best results.
- Your doctor can also squirt your ear. He/she has a safe method with a device that has the right water pressure, so that your ear is not damaged.
Step 8. Go to the doctor
If the process of softening and spraying your earwax doesn't help, see your doctor. He/she has several methods available to safely clear the blockage. Your doctor can also examine your ear and make the correct diagnosis. Maybe the earwax blockage isn't really the problem. Other causes that can cause your ear to become clogged include:
- Sinusitis - sinus infection
- Meniere's disease - an inner ear disorder with hearing and balance problems
- Cholesteatoma - a cyst in the middle ear
- Acoustic neuroma - a tumor in the acoustic nerve
- Fungal infection
- Inflammation of the middle ear
- Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD)
Method 2 of 2: Additional steps
Step 1. Equalize the pressure in your ears
Usually, the feeling of pressure on your ears is not the result of a blockage, but of a brief disturbance in the Eustachian tube in your middle ear. You can open this tube to equalize the pressure with several easy steps, such as:
- To swallow
- Blowing through your nose while keeping your nostrils closed
- Common causes of Eustachian tube malfunction include colds, flu, altitude difference, and exposure to air pollution such as cigarette smoke.
Step 2. Stay well hydrated
With a cavity blockage that results in pressure on the ears, you can reduce the pressure simply by staying well hydrated. Liquids thin the mucus that causes the pressure. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
Step 3. Sleep with your head up
By putting some more pillows under your head so that you are a bit higher, your cavities can get rid of the moisture more easily. This will reduce the pressure on your ears.
Step 4. Place a warm compress on your ear
Warm a towel and place it on your ear for a few minutes. You can also place a cup over the part of the towel that's on your ear to help retain the heat.
Step 5. Take a hot shower
If the pressure has been created by clogging the cavities, you can also take a hot, steamy shower. That thins the mucus, allowing it to flow out of your cavities better, reducing the pressure.
Step 6. Take an over-the-counter remedy
A variety of over-the-counter remedies are available to relieve pressure on the ears, depending on the specific cause. Examples of commonly used substances are:
- Antihistamines - If the pressure on your ears is due to allergy blockage, you can take antihistamines to help relieve the symptoms.
- Decongestants - If the pressure is due to constipation from a cold or the flu, a decongestant can help reduce the symptoms that are causing the pressure.
- Ear Wax Drops - These products work the same as olive oil by softening the earwax so that the blockage that the pressure causes can be cleared.
Step 7. Go to the doctor
If the pressure is very painful and none of these options provide relief, see your doctor. Your doctor can make the correct diagnosis and draw up an appropriate treatment plan for your specific case.
- If your earwax doesn't go down, see your doctor. It has a special device to suck out earwax, which resembles a small vacuum cleaner.
- Don't let too much earwax sit. If your ear canal becomes completely closed, your eardrum can tear due to the pressure difference.
- Make sure to heat the olive oil. Test a few drops on your wrist to make sure it isn't too hot or cold.
- Do not use this method if you have a ruptured or perforated eardrum.
- Do not use cotton swabs to remove earwax. Doing so will only push it further into your ear, and you can damage your eardrum.