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The Pharmacist Answers Podcast

Have a question for the pharmacist? Get your answers here! Clear explanations about complicated medical topics that anyone can understand. Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog and related podcast are not to be taken as medical advice, they are for informational and educational purposes only. If you resemble anything that is mentioned in this blog or related podcast, contact your doctor. The information contained in this blog and related podcasts is the opinion of the author and does not relfect the views of her employer, Walgreens. If you want to know what Walgreens thinks, ask Walgreens!
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Aug 17, 2015

Ear wax is produced by your ear to keep junk out and away from your ear drum - like a slime booby-trap.

 

Allergies and other things that go in your ears (like water, especially dirty water, like lake water) causes the production of ear wax to increase to the point it becomes a problem. 

 

When you swim under water, the deeper you go, the harder the pressure of that water pushing down on you get, including the pressure of the water pushing in your ear.  This pressure can smoosh wax up against your eardrum. 

 

A quick tip to get water out of your ear - use a capful of rubbing alcohol.  Alcohol evaporates quickly at room temperature, so when it mixes with the tiny amount of water in your ear, it helps that water evaporate faster. 

 

Three step process for earwax removal (or maybe four) 

1. Debrox (Carbamide Peroxide) - OTC drops that helps dissolve ear wax if you have earwax buildup. It can also soften an impaction (glob of wax smooshed against ear drum) 

2. Take a hot shower.  Ear wax - just like other waxes - when it gets warm, it will soften. 

3. Irrigation - with an ear bulb 

     1. Fill sink up with comfortably warm water 

     2. Fill bulb with water 

     3. Point affected ear down towards sink 

     4. Put tip of bulb in your ear 

     5. Squeeze water into ear and let water and wax drain back out 

4. Use a capful of alcohol to dry water droplets left over (optional) 

 

 

NO EAR CANDLES!! 

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