I'd like to add my 3 cent's worth to this topic.
This last September, right before my birthday, i got an
annoying blockage in my ear due to what appeared to be
wax build-up. I'm a great believer in using olive oil
for ear problems; I regularly use a dab of natural olive oil- based herbal salve inserted into my ear canal with a Q-tip for
easier ear plug insertion. I rarely have problems with
a build-up, but it does occasionally happen and usually
breaks down on its own. This time it didn't, though, so out
of desperation i tried some Debrox -- one of the popular oil-based ear wax cleaning products -- but all it did, frankly, was to make matters worse. I had a major oil slick in my poor ear and i was miserable, with bad pressure, muffling of sound, and sharp shooting pains. Not a nice way to be facing my b-day. . . .
I made an emergency appointment with a local ENT, who
took one look in my ear and said that, yes, i had a nice
big blob of wax smashed down against the eardrum. I
told him at the outset that under NO circumstances, given
the fact that i had severe hyperacusis, would i agree to
the use of a water jet to break it up. I asked if he would
remove it manually, but he said that it was too close to
the ear drum, it would be dangerous to use an instrument,
and that i would have to be seen at a major regional
teaching hospital, where a specialist would have to manually
remove it using special high-power magnification. . . .
I went home and did what i should have at the outset.
The active ingredient of any of the wax-removing commercial
products is hydrogen peroxide. I made up a dilution of
high-quality h.p. in warm water (i have some high-quality
food grade hydrogen peroxide which i diluted to the proper
concentration), got out a nice super fat eye dropper, draped towels over my shoulder, tilted my head to the side, and spent the next 15 minutes or so patiently and repeatedly shooting the nice and warm h.p./water mixture into my
It worked. After wondering if i'd ever unplug that ear, it
suddenly broke up and washed out. Amazing how such a
little piece of wax, strategically placed, can cause so much misery!
Moral of the story: if you have problems with wax build-up --
especially if you use plugs and salve that can compact wax
into the canal -- be sure to do periodic cleansings as a
preventative measure. Hydrogen peroxide is healing and antiseptic and, with its effervescent oxygenating action, can actually help "munch" away accumulated wax. The kind you
can find at any pharmacy (3%, i believe) is very safe to use.
I personally prefer to use a food-grade (35%) version, because it contains no preservatives. However, if you DO
use such a high concentration, it is EXTREMELY important
that it is diluted to a concentration safe for use. As an
oxidant, h.p. at high concentrations can cause serious