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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Children's Health Ear wax in children

Ear wax in children

Ear wax is part of natural defense mechanism which protects the ear canal by tapping dirt and slows down the growth of bacteria. Sometimes excess of ear wax accumulates leading to ear blockage.

Ear waxes are secreted by the glands in the ear canal. The wax and the tiny hairs in the ear canal trap dust and other foreign particles which can damage the deeper structures of ear.

Symptoms of earwax blockage:

  • Ear pain.
  • Fullness of involved ear.
  • Tinnitus (hearing sounds in ear).
  • Decreased hearing.

Tips for clearing ear wax at home:

  • While giving bath to the child, gently wash around the outside of ear with wet wash cloth.
  • Avoid insertion of cotton buds or other objects inside the ear. This will make the wax to be displaced deeper instead of removing it.
  • Put few drops of mineral oil of baby oil in ear and cover the ear with cotton plug in the night. This will help to clean the wax out.
  • Avoid commercially available drops like cerumenolytic agents in children since they cause ear canal irritation.

Removal of ear wax:

  • Syringing of the era: In this warm water is filled in ear syringe and inserted gently in to the ear and the water is flushed in to the canal removing or washing out the wax.
  • Curetting of ear: In this a thin instrument called curette is held like pencil and the wax is picked out.
  • The following can be applied to soften the wax like baby oil, glycerin, mineral oil and commercial drops.
  • Detergent drops like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide may help to remove the wax.

Complications of impacted ear wax:

  • Infection.
  • Failure to remove earwax.
  • Otitis externa.
  • Otitis media.
  • Perforation of eardrum.
  • Damage to the external auditory meatus.
  • Vertigo