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Head, Ears, and Nose
Alternative Treatments for Conditions or Diseases

What can be done about severely clogged ears that are filled with wax and are painful?


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September 13, 2011 10:03PM
  • First you must be sure it is wax in your ears and not an ear infection or allergies in your sinuses causing the pain and clogging. It can often be caused from the inside, such as severe sinus swelling, and can feel like wax, but is not. If it IS wax the solutions below should work. If it does not work, you can go see a Dr as a Dr can relieve pressure and pain in the inside of the ear.
  • Ear candles do not work, they are just a placebo effect. It has been proven that if you burn an ear wax candle while not holding it to your ear, you get the same gooey brown ear wax looking substance in it, so it is fake. (EAR CANDLES DO WORK, AND ARE A GREAT WAY TO REMOVE WAX FROM EARS)
  • If none of the above solutions work it could be due to allergies or sinusitus causing the eustachian tube to swell and stay closed and retain fluid. If the infection is old, and has already gone, the Dr may need to lance the ear drum to relieve the pressure of the fluid build up in the ear canal behind the ear drum. He will put a dab of deadening ointment on it to relieve pain, then lance it with a tiny scalpel, right in his office, and then yellow fluid (pus) will drain out for a few days and it will heal back up and your ear will feel great and you will hear again with no pressure issues.
  • If you 1. put 2 or 3 drops of olive oil or other liquid oil in each ear at bedtime to soften the wax and plug the ear with cotton IN THE OUTSIDE of the canal so the oil won't soil your bedding, and 2. in the morning pour some warm bubbly solution like soda or peroxide in one ear at at time allowing a minute for the bubbles to loosen the wax, then pour in warm water to rinse out and finally, a capful of rubbing alcohol to dry out the water and help to prevent infection, and hopefully the problem will be relieved. You may have to do it two or three times to clear it. After this, each time you shower, run warm water into your ears, use you finger to clean, and rinse when you are done showering, then use a Q-tip to dry gently ** but not deeply, and you can control the problem.
  • You can also try an ear syringe bulb (baby nasal aspirator) to suck out the wax once it is softened with oil or peroxide.
  • Most people say "Don't put anything in you ear smaller than your elbow." And it is true that Q-tips can push the ear wax into the canal and pack it in, like loading a cannon. But if you know your ear is not loaded with wax, you can use a Qtip to gently dry your ear and keep it clean if you do not stick it in very deep, maybe 1/4 an inch is ok.
  • If you have an ear canal plugged with wax, and the above solution does not work, see your Family Doctor or Pediatrician, they have intruments to remove the wax and/or irrigate the canal to remove it. This is the safest way to remove the problem and make sure you do not have an infection behind the wax that needs treating.
  • It is not uncommon to have "swimmer's ear" with this condition. The water builds up behind the ear wax and causes the infection which needs a prescription to be treated.
  • You may wish to try candle waxing. In NW MN the local salons (haircuts, colors, nails, massages and waxing) are doing this and I have heard many people comment on the positive experience. From what I understand the heat from the candle will melt the wax in your ears and then it is able to be removed.
  • I've never heard of 'candle waxing' so I don't know, but it sounds dangerous to me. Go to your family doctor and let him have a look. He can then clean them out for you easily and, more importantly, safely.
  • Ear candling, you should not try this alone, there are instructions included usually when you buy the ear candles. They can be bought at all most any heath food store or your neighborhood vitamin store. Usually not found at the supermarket unless its a local co-op. If the are followed properly it works great and its immediate relief!
  • Get your ears flushed out in a doctor`s office and then leave that wax alone, will you! No Q-tips. And leave those candles on the birthday cake. The vacuum that is created through heat may quite well extract the wax, however, if your ear drums have any kind of opening caused by previous infections or if you have ear tubes, do NOT experiment with your ear wax removal. Wax is a self-cleaning device by nature.
  • I've used ear candles, and I've been to the doctors. both are excellent ways of clearing out the ears. candling is not dangerous and it actually feels really good. the candle doesn't melt the earwax, it lifts debris out of your ear! it feels awesome. also a couple of times i went to my doc, and he used a higher pressure large metal blunt syringe to clean my ears out. that also feels good, and the process takes a lot less time, but it costs a bunch more.
  • Something else you can try is putting a drop of olive oil in each ear once a week (making sure that once you put it in, you tilt your head the other way so it can come in contact with the wax). This can help soften the wax, making it easier to come out. We can always do various procedures that have been mentioned above, or can prescribe earwax removal medications, but I usually recommend to my patients that they try the drop of olive oil trick first since it is the least expensive. Having a great deal of ear wax is not dangerous and usually will not result in any hearing loss unless the ear canal is completely occluded with wax, so there's nothing wrong with leaving things alone. As mentioned before, though, it's important to not use cotton swabs (such as q-tips), as this can make things worse.
  • One method which I have used effectively is hydrogen peroxide. Take one or two drops into each ear and let it for a few seconds. Try to massage it in at the same time so it moves around. You'll get rid of a lot of wax. You can do this often and hydrogen peroxide is pretty cheap, but DO NOT USE TOO MUCH AT ONCE. Otherwise, you may remove ALL the wax, include the wax that protects your ears from infection. Also, don't use alcohol. It works, but it is too strong.
  • To add to the answers on painful ear wax, the candles used in my salon are called Hopi candles, they are thin tubes of cloth and candle wax, which one end is inserted into the ear and the other end is lit, therefore creating a vacuum effect which slowly and safely draws the wax build up into the tube, thus clearing you re ears and making everything sound amazingly loud! definitely worth the effort though, i think that the treatment is around �20 and about 20 minutes long, although salons and prices of the treatment may vary.
  • If anyone is thinking about using ear candles, think again. They are a hoax. If you burn the candle without it being in your ear, cut it open, it is filled with ear wax-like stuff just like if you had put it in your ear and burned it. It really let me down. I thought it was the coolest thing but its not.
  • Having had a child with this problem- our pediatrician said to let her chew gum (sugarless, of course) every day. The chewing motion of the jaw massages the ear canal and moves excess ear wax out of the inner canal.
  • Ok here is what I did. I bought some medicine called Debrox. I followed instructions and got a ton of wax out. First it was little tiny pieces then with the last ear flush I got a corn size chunk was disgusting yet it was kinda cool.