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  • Barbara Hoefener NP

Ear Wax- Learn all about it!

Written (summarized) by Barbara Hoefener, NP on 9/11/22

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Ear wax Lesson- Per ENT Surgeon- Dr. Vik Veer


Ear wax Types: 1- dry/ crumbly, 2- wet/spongy like, or 3- wet/fudgy type).

Ear wax has anti-fungal & anti-bacterial properties to fight infection.

The bodies cell are continuously growing out of the ear, it takes 3-4 months to grow out. There is always a super thin layer of wax on bottom of ear canal, this provides protection from infection by making the ear canal slightly acidic. Having large globs of wax is abnormal.


Reasons Wax builds-up. 1- Q-tip- When you use a Q-tip the wax gets pushed back down, or when scratch the ear, the "conveyor belt" of wax gets broken so you get a build-up of wax. 2- Some people have narrow ear canal on outside so wax will get stuck. 3- With aging the concave portion of the outer ear moves forward trapping the wax. 4- Sometimes you get a small "pothole" to the tube/ conveyor belt, trapping the wax.


Swimmers ear - b/c swimming so much will loose all the wax, thus loose the acid base to the ear so more common to get ear infections.


Get Ear wax out (per ENT): Takes 2-5 days.

1-Cheap version- Flush ear with Sterile distilled water

2-Buy Ear drops - "EAR CALM (acetic acid)

**This comes from ENT who did testing of 5 methods over 5 days with all kinds of ear wax in test tube: 1-olive oil- nothing, 2- hydrogen peroxide- nothing, 3-sodium bicarb (alkaline)- worked but patients don't like the drying to the ear, Ear Calm (acid)- worked!, & distilled water- worked- some concern for infection if not sterile.


Other options:

3- See ENT for Microsuction to Ear or 4- rare to have surgery.

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