Jay Dolitsky MD FAAP Ped ENT www.MDK.com
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Male: If there is a lot of wax in the ear, you want to try some simple ways to get it out, what would you recommend? Dr. Dolitsky: In general I am not in favor personally of parents trying to clean the wax out. It is inside the opening inside of the ear canal. Anything on the outside that you could see without a flashlight, I usually recommend dampening a wash cloth, a thin wash cloth and using a finger to rub that around the outside of the ear canal. But I don’t recommend putting anything into the ear. Male: And the drops that you can get over the counter, are those helpful? Dr. Dolitsky: There are drops and there are systems over the counter designed for removing wax. The drops tend to soften the wax up and on occasion they make the wax come out a little bit more easily when a physician moves it. Or, sometimes if the child is going underwater, either in the bath or swimming, then sometimes this soft wax will come out more easily. Most of the time the drops do not make the wax come out. There are no drops that actually dissolve wax. There are systems that you can buy in a pharmacy such as Murine makes such a system where you would have drops that would soften the wax. You put them in for a few days and then use some small syringe to irrigate the wax out. If you do it gently, that is probably safe. On other occasions, someone applies too much pressure when they inject the water into the ear and can potentially cause some injury. Most of the time if it is done with basic common sense, you are not going to injure anything and that might be effective.
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