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Earwax Normal and Healthy

Dear Dr. Dave and Dee,

Section targeting I seem to have a lot of earwax and have to clean my ears all the time. Is that normal? Should I see a doctor?


Need earwax facts

Dear Need earwax facts,

Everyone has earwax, and it is normal and healthy. You do not want to over clean the ear canal as the wax coating protects the ear. Overzealous deep cleaning might also lead to a perforated eardrum.

The outer ear canal has glands that make earwax in order to repel water, trap dust and dirt and protect the ear drum from bacteria and infections. Normally, the outer ear canal is self-cleaning, pushing the wax towards the ear opening where it is removed when you clean your ear. But, you need to be careful to not dig down too deep with a finger or cotton swab because the ear drum could be damaged or the wax could be pushed in deeper creating impacted wax.

If you feel that you have too much earwax that is blocking your ear canal and affecting your hearing, then see a doctor. Your physician can remove the earwax with ear drops to soften the wax, by suction, irrigation, or by using special instruments to pick out the wax.

If you have too much earwax, your doctor may recommend regular use of ear drops or a few drops of baby oil in the ear every week. After the oil sits for a couple minutes, lie down with your ear on a paper towel to let the oil and earwax drip out.