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An ear syringe can be an effective way to remove earwax, particularly impacted earwax, from the ear canal. The basic concept of using an ear syringe for wax is to flush earwax out of the ear with fluid, rather than through scraping. Doctors will sometimes use a specialized ear syringe for wax removal during office visits and check-ups, but many syringes are also available for home use. Home use syringes range from basic rubber bulb syringes to complete earwax removal systems involving the injection of saline or other solutions. Use of any syringing method is relatively simple. It usually involves little more than heating water or other ear solution to body temperature, then pumping that water slowly into the ear to wash away wax.
Earwax is believed by most medical professionals to carry quite a number of benefits. It protects the eardrum from exposure to dust and antimicrobial particles, for instance, and is an important part of the ear’s self-cleaning system. Nevertheless, excess earwax can cause problems. Earwax buildup can sometimes cause hearing loss and earaches. When earwax has become impacted deep in the ear canal, the symptoms worsen.
An ear syringe for wax is usually recommended as a safe way to remove impacted or excess earwax. Irrigating the ear canal with warm fluids can soften and remove earwax more completely than other wax removal tools, such as cotton swabs or ear candles. If used properly, the ear syringe can be an easy and inexpensive way to relieve earwax-related problems.
The most basic requirement of using an ear syringe for wax is the fluid. If you have purchased an ear syringe system, a fluid solution may be included. Commercial earwax solutions are usually saline-based, and sometimes include other chemicals like hydrogen peroxide to assist in softening and removing wax. Water can also be used.
It is very important that the fluid, whatever it is, be warmed to as close to body temperature as possible. If the fluid is too cold, it may not soften the wax enough to remove it. Cold fluids injected into the ear can also cause headache and dizziness.
The syringe should be filled with the fluid, then carefully and slowly squirted into the ear canal. This is usually achieved by inserting the tip of the syringe about 1 inch (25 mm) into the ear. Do not inject too forcefully, as powerful blasts into the ear can cause damage. Once the contents of the syringe have been emptied, tilt the head to drain. The process can be repeated until the problematic wax has been removed.
Use of an ear syringe for wax should only be undertaken by people in good health with no history of ruptured eardrums, ear tubes, or other inner ear problems. Irrigation can be an effective wax removal method, but it is important to keep in mind that any introduction of foreign matter or fluids into the body carries risks. If earwax buildup has become a problem, it is usually best to consult a physician before beginning any regimen of self-treatment.
One thing I learned when using an ear syringe for ear wax removal is not to force the water into the ear canal. A slow, steady stream of water will work just fine. I got carried away one time and gave the bulb a hard squeeze. The water reached my inner ear and hurt really bad for a few minutes. The bigger problem was that I couldn't get all of that water to drain out of my ears naturally, so my hearing was also compromised for a few days.
I usually don't try to remove any ear wax until I start feeling an itch inside my ear canal. That's when I'll get out some hydrogen peroxide and an ear syringe to clean out the excess wax. I'll tilt my head to one side and use the syringe to get the peroxide into my ear canal. I can often hear it bubbling, like when I pour it on a cut. When the bubbling stops, I'll fill the syringe with warm tap water and flood my ear canal with it. It's a messy process, so I'll usually stand in my bath tub and keep a bath towel handy.
Sometimes I'll use an empty ear syringe to draw out excess water after I shower. I have been tempted to use cotton swabs instead, but I usually get good results with the syringe if I make several passes.