Have your ears ever felt clogged up? Or maybe even blocked completely? This could be the result of wax buildup or impaction.

Our bodies use earwax to catch unwelcome dirt and dust, which is a huge help here in the desert. It’s a very natural substance that has protective attributes to keep bacteria from reaching deeper portions of your ears. This function prevents the growth of bad bacteria and other fungi that can lead to ear infections.

Earwax often gets a bad name and is commonly referred to as being gross. In reality, earwax is your friend.

Although earwax is a good thing, too much of a good thing can be bad, as we all know. Letting earwax accumulate too much presents its own challenges. It can cause a temporary or sudden hearing loss, a feeling of fullness in your ear, dizziness, headaches, and even balance issues.

While the cause of impacted earwax can differ from person to person, there is one common factor. Cotton swabs are the number one culprit of impacted earwax. Using these in your ears often results in the wax being pushed deeper and deeper into your ear and builds up over time.

Patients often make this honest mistake when they come in for a check-up. They think that they are experiencing a hearing loss and are very concerned. It is a sigh of relief when they are diagnosed with earwax buildup, and the solution is simple – a professional cleaning is needed.

SIDE NOTE: This is why we always encourage everyone to come in for a hearing assessment before buying any over-the-counter hearing aids. Any hearing device that does not require a licensed professional to examine you personally is dangerous and can make things worse.

Of course, if you go online to search for remedies to your blocked ears, you will find thousands of offers. A lot of times, these methods and procedures are a waste of time and, in some cases, can be very dangerous.

In this article, we’re going to explore the five most common ways to unclog your blocked ears and remove earwax, with the pros and cons of each.

#1 – Over-The-Counter Ear Drops

Over-the-counter products are almost all aimed at very mild cases of whatever ails you. Ear drops are no different in this case.

These ear drops are only useful to people who have a small wax buildup. This is almost impossible to self-diagnose, and there is no way of knowing how severe the blockage is without professional help.

In most cases, if you feel like you may have a blockage or wax buildup, then you have already surpassed the point of being able to fix it with OTC ear drops.

It is completely up to you if you want to try this at-home approach to medical issues.

The price is very attractive, and the availability is very convenient. They are marketed very well and can be very helpful under the right circumstances.

#2 – Use Candles 

This has become very popular online, and I’m sure many of you have seen “successful” videos all over the internet.

However, this is incredibly dangerous.

Candles are inherently dangerous as it is, let alone when they are right next to your head. The flame could burn your face or hair quite easily. Also, the hot wax dripping down can get into your ear and make the problem worse.

Please do not entertain this approach under any circumstances.

#3 – Pick Out The Wax Using A Cotton Swab

Ever since you were a child, having a parent clean your ears with a cotton swab was commonplace.

Although it does not come with instructions, the idea is to insert the cotton swab, give it a couple of twists, and out pops all the wax.

Unfortunately, that is not what happens. The wax you pull out is just residual, and the truth is that more wax gets pushed into your ear than removed. Once it is compacted, then only a professional can remove it.

You should always listen to your parents about everything, except when it comes to using cotton swabs.

#4 – Use Olive Oil 

Another home remedy that has been used for years is olive oil. Applying this in small quantities is safe to use, but does it work?

Olive oil can soften the impacted earwax little by little. Over the course of a few days, if your condition is not too serious, this can cause the earwax to unclog and fall out of your ear.

Olive oil is readily available for this specific reason. It is a very straightforward approach and another great use of olive oil in your home.

There are some drawbacks, though.

If you are allergic to olive oil, then this will not work for you. Your body will still react to it even though you are using it in small doses in your ear.

Also, if you have a ruptured eardrum, then this remedy will not work for you either, and you should seek professional advice as soon as you can.

This method can work and does work but only for mild cases of blockage. If you are not seeing results in a couple of days, then your condition is past the point of olive oil, and it is time to see a professional.

#5 – Visit An Audiologist

When in doubt, take the surefire way to get help and visit an audiologist.

In most cases, if your hearing is affected by a blockage, then you have surpassed the point of being able to apply these home remedies.

Doctors have the training and expertise to deal with exactly these types of matters. Using special equipment, such as a video otoscope, they can view your inner ear to properly assess your condition.

To remove earwax, we use suction, a common, safe, and successful method that has been used for years.  It’s a gentle process that uses a vacuum to gently remove excess wax from your ears. It is actually the safest way of cleaning ears. This technique was learned from working in ENT practices. We believe in using all methods as no one method alone works for all ears and doing it COMFORTABLY!

Visiting your audiologist also gives them the information they need to play for a healthy hearing future for you.

Earwax Removal Experts In The Valley

The team at Ascent Audiology & Hearing has been clinically trained by ENT physicians on how to properly clean ears, which makes us one of the most trusted clinics in The Valley.

We have helped thousands of patients to manage all types of hearing issues, and a large portion of that was probably dealing with the exact same issue you are experiencing right now.

With offices in Glendale, Surprise, and Goodyear, we’re regularly visited by people from all over Arizona.

To ask a question or schedule an appointment, then pleaseclick here for full information and to find the contact information for your local office.

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Daniel Hewson

Born and raised in Western New York, Dan Hewson comes to our practice with over 19 years of experience in the field. With a master’s degree in audiology from SUNY Fredonia, Mr. Hewson has extensive experience working in several of the largest Otolaryngology practices in the country, and also as a Regional Manager with Siemens Medical Audiology Division. Father, husband, and full-time employee with us, Dan is currently a student working to earn his doctorate in audiology; it should be completed by 2018.