Earwax (also known as cerumen) is a natural substance which helps to keep the ear clean and healthy. It traps dirt, dust and other particles that could damage the eardrum were they to travel inside the ear. Normally, wax builds up, then dries out and moves to the outer ear, where it is expelled.
What causes earwax to build up in the ear? Sometimes earwax accumulates faster than the body can expel it, and that's when earwaxcan build up.
When is earwax a problem? When a child's ear canal is plugged with too much wax, it can pose the following problems
- Poor hearing due to the blockage.
- Ear discomfort
- Noises in the ear (tinnitus)
Earwax is normal and natural. The build-up does not cause fever and sleep troubles which are associated with ear infections. If there's a large amount of wax, you may be able to see it just by looking into your baby's ears.
How can I clean my baby's earwax? You can clean visible earwax on the outer rim of your baby's ears with a cotton ear bud. But the bud shouldn't go deep into your baby's ear. Do not try to clean your baby's ears with your fingers, a hair pin or a pen. You could do more harm than good with such sharp objects. If you are concerned that the earwax is affecting your baby's hearing or troubling her in any way, make an appointment with your doctor. The doctor might advise eardrops to help soften the earwax so that it comes out gradually on its own. If it does not come out on its own than visit your doctor for wax removal, which would be done under direct visualisation without hurting the ear drum.Putting warm oil into your baby's ear will not help get rid of the earwax. It can be dangerous.
DR POONAM M. SAMBHAJI
CHILD AND NEWBORN SPECIALIST
(All views are compilation from web as well as clinical experience. Some web articles may be used since I feel it gives compact and just the needed information to parents.)