Olive oil will not break down ear wax as the wax will only absorb water and water based substances. It is good at lubricating the wax and the ear canal assisting in the safe and comfortable removal of wax.
Note the coating of the oil glistening in the image.
It can make things worse before it makes them better.
Mineral water will penetrate the wax and start to break it down. It is for this reason that water based products such as and regular use can help to slow the hardening process of the wax. we very often find irrigation is quicker and much more comfortable than micro-suction in these caes.
Sodium Bi-carbonate breaks down the wax into a more fluid substance which can usually be flushed out by irrigation.
Due to its fairly aggessive active ingredients, it should only be used if you are completely sure you have occluding wax.
You can book a quick wax check if you want to be sure first.
Tap water is not as pure as we might think, and it contains more 'bugs' than mineral water.
whilst tap water is fine in a clear ear to help keep wax at bay, it is important to avoid getting tap water stuck behind any wax build up where the moisture and warmth is a perfect breeding ground for infection.
Often sold commercially as Otex, this product is aggressive in its nature. It is designed to break down the wax such that it can flow from the ear or be irrigated.
Due to its active ingredients, it should only be used if you are completely sure you have occluding wax.
Book a pre wax check to be sure.
It is often said that there is no need to pre treat ear wax prior to removal and it is true that we can remove it very succesfully on the day we first assess the ear wax...
but... it is also true that the ear canal skin lining doeasn't always shed fully from the canal wall, and if you have hairy ear canals, the wax can become stuck in place. Care must be taken to remove it without damaging anything or causing pain.
Sometimes there is a restiction , anarrowing in the canal and it is impossible to pull a hard lump through a constricted gap. in the worst case scenario this can cause oain and even damage the canal wall causing localised bleeding.
So in order to make the procedure as safe and comfortable for you, we recommend that you use doftenng drops for at least a week prior ot the procedure
Ear Wax is 'Hydroscopic' meaning that it absorbs water - not oil.
Water and water based products will therefore penetrate the wax and start to break it down. It is for this reason that water based products such as Sodium BiCarbonate drops or Hydrogen Peroxide drops are most effective when delivered in a water based product.
Olive Oil is particularly useful when we are looking at drawing out lumps of wax from the ear, easpecially through a narrowing in the canal, since the oil lubricates everything nicelyy.
Oil is also useful when trying to losen the wax from the skin in the canal as it works its way into the gaps and breaks the seal, meaning the wax comes away more easily.
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