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Health Tip: When Earwax Builds Up

-- Earwax isn't a sign that your ears aren't clean or healthy. It actually helps to protect your ears.

But if there's a significant buildup of earwax, it can impair your hearing. Fairview Health Services offers these suggestions:

  • Soften earwax with a few drops of baby oil, mineral oil, or special ear drops, then wipe the outer ear gently with a cloth.
  • Don't try to soften earwax if your ear hurts, if you have cold symptoms, or if your eardrum has ever been punctured.
  • Never insert objects such as a pencil or cotton swab into your ear.
  • If you have trouble hearing or have pain in one or both ears, see your doctor at once.
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Posted: October 2008