Dealing with Ear Wax in Babies

Ear wax

Most of us think that ear wax is harmful. But actually, it’s more of a help. Though it does look like muck, it plays an important role in keeping the ears healthy.

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Here Are A Few Things That You Didn’t Know About Ear Wax

The medical term for ear wax is cerumen. It is secreted by glands lining the ear canal in the outer ear. It acts as a protective barrier by trapping dirt and dust and safeguards the internal ear against bacterial and fungal infections. Ear wax also helps to keep the ear drum and ear canal dry and infection-free.

The ear produces as much ear wax as it needs. However, there are rare instances where the ear produces excess wax and plugs the ear canal . This can sometimes interfere with the hearing and cause pain and discomfort in the child. This is when medical intervention is required. Until then, it is recommended that you leave the earwax alone. Scooping out wax with a bud could be dangerous and rupture the eardrum. So it’s best you leave it to the doctor to do the job. He will be able to guide you best on whether the ear wax has to be removed or not.

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How Do You Know If The Ear Wax Is Posing A Problem For Your Baby?

When your baby is constantly meddling with his ear and tugging at it, you know there’s something bothering him. However, it’s difficult to tell if the problem is arising out of ear wax build up or an infection. Generally, ear wax build up does not cause fever and disturb baby’s sleep. So, you could examine the baby’s ear yourself and you’ll be able to spot the large build up with your naked eye.

When excess wax clogs the ear canal it could cause an infection. That’s when the baby is in pain and begins to cry. This is a sure indication that medical attention is required. So you will have to make an appointment with your doctor and have it checked at the earliest.

Clogged ear canals can also decrease hearing and lead to earache. Block canals left unattended for several months can interfere with speech development.

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How Do You Get Rid Of Ear Wax

If the wax build up is in the outer ear where it can be seen clearly, it can be cleaned using a thin muslin cloth or a cotton swab.

If the excess wax is in the inner ear, you can take baby to your doctor who will use a suction device to flush out the wax.

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DIY Cleaning Treatment At Home

Hydorden peroxide is an effective method of removing the ear wax. Basically, it softens the ear wax, making it easy to scoop out the wax. This solution is safe provided your child is not suffering from an ear infection or there is no discharge from the ear. It is easily available in the neighborhood medical stores over the counter.

Follow These Steps To Clean Baby’s Ear

  • Lay the child on the side with the plugged ear facing up
  • Make a solution with half hydrogen peroxide and half warm water (take care to see its not hot)
  • Squeeze out the solution with the dropper and gently put one drop at a time until it fills up the ear. It takes about 6-8 drops usually.
  • After each drop, pull the ear a bit, a give it a slight shake to allow the drop to flow down.
  • After it fills up, plug the ear with some cotton to prevent the drops from leaking out.
  • Repeat this for about 3-4 days
  • After the last day, sit the child and clean out the wax using a rubber bulb syringe. This is safe as it does not cause too much pressure that would hurt the ear
  • If ear wax does not come out, then you may need to continue the drops for some more days.
  • If ear wax build up is a chronic problem, you can put drops twice a month to avoid excess build up. However, do take the advice of your doctor before you proceed with this.