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Ear wax is one of the body’s defense systems. It protects the ear canal, stops dust and dirt, and helps to reduce bacteria growth. A build up of ear wax will cause decreased hearing.

Ears are delicate and can be damaged easily. Do not use cotton swabs, bobby pins, or paper clips to remove ear wax. Do not flush your ears if you have had a prior eardrum perforation or ear surgery without the approval of your provider. If you are concerned that you may have an ear infection, do not flush your ears.


Soften ear wax by putting a few drops of olive oil, mineral oil, baby oil, or glycerin with an eyedropper into the affected ear. Lay with the ear up for 10-15 minutes. Do this twice a day for several days. It is helpful to warm the oil in a cup of hot tap water. NEVER warm in a microwave oven.

Another option is to purchase ear wax softener over the counter. Ask your pharmacist to show you the available products.

Using a bulb syringe (which you can purchase in a pharmacy) squirt warm water into your ear. To do this, sit in a chair. Pull the top of your ear up with your opposite hand, gently squirt the warm water into the ear canal, and turn your head to drain the water out in a bowl or towel. You may need to repeat this several times before the wax is loosened and falls out.

If after trying these treatment options you are still having problems, call (612) 625-3222 to make an appointment at Boynton Health.


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Boynton Health

410 Church Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN, 55455

P: 612-625-8400 | F: 612-625-1434