Curing Your Baby’s Ear Wax Problem With Home Remedies
The thought of ear wax may make you feel gross but this ear wax or ‘cerumen’ contributes to the cleanliness and maintenance of the ears. Ear wax is secreted by the ‘ceruminous glands’ present inside the ears so that it can trap all the unwanted particles like dust and dirt which could potentially harm the ‘eardrum’ if allowed to go deep inside the ear. Generally, these unwanted particles stick themselves to the ear wax which then builds and dries up, moving to the ear’s outer part where it gets washed away.
At times the accumulation of ear wax takes place faster in comparison to its expulsion from the body. This leads to a major ear problem. In case the ear canal of a child gets plugged with ear wax, it affects his hearing ability, leading to ear infection. It can also be responsible for ‘earache’ if left untreated.
Using Home Remedies:
Here are some of the methods you can try at home to removing ear wax. You must remember if your child is really small, you should only use damp cloths to clean the wax as most babies do not gather much ear wax.
‘Natural’ Ear Drops for Use:
Firstly, you will have to make the ear wax in your child’s ears loose with the help of mineral oil or baby oil. Do not use olive oil or vegetable oil for this purpose as they can adversely affect the ear canal in the process. Using a dropper pour in 2-3 oil drops in each of the ears. If ear dropper is not available you can work with medicine dropper which you have to sterilize in alcohol or hot water before using. Either tilt your baby’s heads sideways or make him lie down such that his affected ear faces upwards. Pull his ear lobe gently away from his neck and without allowing the dropper to touch his ear pour in the oil by very gently squeezing the dropper. Make him stay in the position for five or more minutes in order to allow the oil to spread inside the canal. Wipe away the extra oil that comes off the ear. Repeat the same process with the ‘other ear’ if it also happens to be affected. After some time the oil will work to make the ear wax loose and come off the ears without any pain.
Damp Cheesecloth Cleaning:
If you can see the ear wax build-up on your baby’s outer ear use damp cheesecloth or a moist washcloth (if cheesecloth is not available). If your baby is too small to take the risk of pouring oil to clean the ‘stubborn’ wax inside, take him to the paediatrician. Here your baby’s ear will be flushed with warm liquid for loosening the ear wax so that it comes of easily without any external help. If it does not, the paediatrician will have to use curette, thin instrument made of plastic, to scrape it off. The procedure is completely harmlessly.
What Not to Use:
Never use cotton buds for cleaning the baby’s ears or anyone’s ears for that matter. ENTs have confirmed that hairpins, cotton swabs, cotton buds and paper clips used for cleaning the ears tend to push ear wax further into the canal, damaging both ear canals and ear drums. Do not even consider using ear candles as they can severely burn the skin and cause other ear damage.
Too prevent the excessive build-up of ear wax in your baby’s ears you should try and keep him hydrated all the time by feeding him fluids as much as possible. The density of ear wax increases when one gets dehydrated and your aim should be to keep him from getting dehydrated.
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