Yes, a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and lukewarm water can be used in your ears under certain conditions. We’ll take a look at these various scenarios below.
Where Is Hydrogen Peroxide Typically Found And Is It Safe?
You can find hydrogen peroxide at any local pharmacy or grocery store.
I used to work with an ear, nose, and throat physician who would ask people to put a mixture of 3% peroxide and water in an ear before coming in for their earwax removal appointments, just to help soften the wax.
So it can be used, provided that the patient has never had a perforation or a hole in their eardrum.
You never want to put liquid in an ear that could possibly have an opening in the eardrum or if they ever had surgery on the ear. That could cause damage to the ear. You don’t want that going into the inner ear, past the eardrum. The permanent damage it could cause is not worth the risk.
Can You Put Hydrogen Peroxide In Your Ear?
You don’t want to put straight peroxide in the ear. It will dry the ear out, causing itchiness. And there’s nothing worse than being itchy deep inside the ear because you can’t get to it. There’s no easy way to address that.
To use hydrogen peroxide in the ears, mix it first with body temperature water. You don’t want to put it with water that’s too hot or too cold or it will make you dizzy. Just put it in the ear, let it sit, and flush it out. Sometimes that can remove any wax. I have patients that do that regularly. It works for them, but it doesn’t work for everybody.
I tell patients, if you can go into a pool, you can take a shower, or you can get water in your ears with no issue, you’re fine. If you can’t do any of those things, do not put peroxide in your ear.
What Are The Alternatives To Hydrogen Peroxide?
There are a few alternatives to hydrogen peroxide, which include:
- Over-the-counter drops such as Debrox or Murine at your local pharmacy.
- You can go to your physician or audiologist and have it taken out. We can help with that.
- If you’re looking for an at-home remedy, most of the pharmacies have things you can buy over the counter. They’re usually in the same aisle as the ear and eye care.
Does Duncan Hearing Healthcare Offer In-House Ear Cleaning Services?
We offer wax management at Duncan Hearing Healthcare.
We only use the irrigator for patients who can have water in the ear, so it’s not for everybody, but with irrigation, we can flush the ears out gently and easily. Some patients come in just to have that because they find it very relaxing, oddly enough.
If patients have had surgery on the ears, such as tympanoplasty, or there’s some other reason why we can’t put water in, we take out the earwax with a curette or by other means, and it’s very gentle and easy. We do it quite often and for quite a few patients regularly.
Is Hydrogen Peroxide The Best Way To Break Down Earwax?
I would say no, hydrogen peroxide isn’t the best way to break down earwax. Most patients find that it doesn’t do much because it doesn’t really get the earwax out.
Sometimes the hydrogen peroxide will just soften it and then cause it to build up more, so they feel like they’re hearing is worse afterwards, which can be a little unsettling for them.
Some patients want to put a hydrogen peroxide mix in right before the appointment to help soften the earwax a little bit, and that’s fine. Otherwise, we use softener at the office right before we take it out, so we can get it loosened up in the ear.
So using a hydrogen peroxide/water mix in the ears is not effective for everybody, especially if their ear is completely blocked. It’s fine if there’s a little bit of wax that they’re looking to remove, but it doesn’t always clean it out.
If You Need Your Ears Cleaned Out
Our audiologists are able to remove earwax safely and effectively for most of the people we see in our office without referring them to a medical specialist.
To make sure you have no hearing loss in the same visit, also book a hearing test to take good care of your hearing health.
We run Massachusetts’ most trusted hearing care center in three locations, and we’re here to ensure your hearing is as good as it can be.