Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Why does my ear seem to accumulate earwax?"
Why does my ear seem to accumulate earwax and become blocked? I am a 37 year old female and have been taking antihistamine's.I have had to visit my general practitioner twice and get my ear cleaned out with water flush. It seems that my production of earwax is excessive. I have tried to clean it out myself with drops and using q-tips. Should I try using hydrogen peroxide and flush it daily?
It is very likely that your production of ear wax is excessive. As you know, ear wax normally serves a protective function for the ear canal, and it is produced by wax glands lining the skin inside the ear canal. All individuals produce ear wax, but the amount produced varies considerably. In some individuals, such as yourself, the amount of wax produced is excessive and leads to gradual blocking of the ear canal. The main treatment for excessive ear wax production is to prevent its buildup. This can be done by the daily application of mineral oil or one of several over the counter ear wax drops. The important thing to remember is that these treatments work by keeping the wax soft, and by preventing it from hardening into a obstruction. In other words, if you are not using them every single day they will not work for you. Once the ear canal is obstructed, they do not work. You should avoid using cotton swabs. All that cotton swabs tend to do is push the wax back against the ear drum, packing it down and making it even more difficult to remove. Once this happens, the only effective treatment is visiting your doctor for a clean out.
Need more info?See an ear nose-throat-doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.