How to Treat
Ear Wax Problems
Dr. Ben Kim
kind nun from Ireland recently consulted with me about an ear problem. Here's
what she wrote:
seems to be a problem with wax because when I lie down at night they block and
when I get up they un-block, but sometimes I can't hear anything in my right ear
for about 3 days. I have been putting in warm olive oil at night for about 4 days
now. Do you have any suggestions for me?"
all healthy ears produce some wax, a small percentage of the population suffers
from build-up that can cause significant discomfort and sometimes temporary deafness.
In my practice, I place several drops of warm water into the affected ear, block
it with a cotton ball, and have the guest rest like this for 30 minutes. I then
flush the ear several times with a large, dull-headed syringe, with a kidney-shaped
basin resting under the ear to catch the water and wax. Sometimes, I will flush
each ear up to 15 times. If this doesn't remove all of the wax, I will repeat
the same procedure the next day after the guest has spent a few hours with olive
oil in her ears, covered with cotton balls.
general practitioners have the appropriate tools to perform this simple procedure.
An important precaution is to insert the tip of the syringe no more than half
an inch into the external ear canal to ensure that it isn't too close to the ear
drum. For obvious reasons, I cannot recommend that people perform this procedure
on their own.
unplugging wax from the ear, it is important to address what caused the build-up
in the first place. One of the most common causes is a deficiency in omega 3 fatty
acids. Some excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids include:
fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and herring
you choose to use cod liver oil, be sure that your source has been tested for
mercury and other common toxins. My wife and I like and use Carlson's Cod liver
oil and take 2 teaspoons per day. (CarlsonLabs.com)
you choose to eat cold-water fish, please try to ensure that it comes from the
ocean and not a fish farm. You can ask your grocer or fish monger where his fish
the use of pasteurized dairy products like milk, ice cream, cheese, sour cream,
and creme fraiche can create irritation in the ear, which can contribute to a
build-up of wax. Incidentally, the use of pasteurized dairy products is one of
the most common causes of ear infections in children. If you know a child who
suffers from intermitent ear infections, please find a gentle way to let his parents
know of this strong link between pasteurized dairy and ear infections.
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