How to Remove Built-up Ear Wax from Elderly’s Ear?

Regular ear health examinations are important for children, adults, and most specifically for elders. Due to the deterioration of body functions, the self-cleaning mechanism of the ears is affected which can lead to auditory problems.

Therefore, their ear needs more frequent checkups and manual ear cleaning. However, aging makes skin more fragile and their sensory perception is reduced. Even a slight mistake can cause bruises on their ears without them knowing. So how to clean elderly ears without causing any ear damage? Can ear cleaning of the elderly be done at home? Let’s see!

Why Do Elderly People Have More Ear Wax Buildup?

Elders face hearing problems more commonly as compared to the younger population. Why? It is frequently associated with more ear wax build-up in the elderly. 

The cerumen glands of our ears deteriorate with age. This results in the production of thicker, drier, and stickier ear wax. On top of this, the self-cleaning mechanism of ears also becomes slower with age due to reduced muscle tone as Jaw movements facilitate this mechanism. Less frequent jaw movements in the elderly make it slower and less efficient. 

In addition, skin dryness increases so the wax does not slough off effectively from the ears. All these mechanisms contribute to the prolonged accumulation of wax in elder people. Without regular cleaning and proper care, their ear health can be in decline. 

What are the Common Ways to Remove Ear Wax from Elderly’s Ear Safely?

Try At-Home Ear Wax Cleaning Kits

If you are looking for a safe method of removing ear wax in the elderly at home, try an ear wax cleaning kit like Bebird Note5 Pro.

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It has a 10-megapixel camera of this Bedird kit to attain a clear view of the ear. The small tweezers attached at the front of the device can be used to grasp larger wax chunks. Moreover, you can use the Q-tips to remove the smaller pieces of wax or any foreign object from the ear.

How to use it?

  • Download the app through the QR code given in the manual or directly from the app store
  • Remove the cap and turn on the phone wifi. Connect it with “Bebird xxxxxx”
  • Then, you will see the “use” option where you can switch to tweezer mode and ear spoon mode easily
  • You can also take live pictures or videos of the ear by clicking on the camera symbol
  • For consultation from a professional, go to ear health assessment option given in the app 

Soft Cloth or Tissue Wiping

A soft cloth or tissue wiping can help with cleaning the outer ear and the skin around the opening of your ear canal.

Gently wipe the outer ear using a damp cloth and then discard the tissue or cloth you are using. This can help in clearing out the wax buildup and remove any debris outside the ears. Following are some measures one can take to ensure that ears are cleaned properly without causing any skin damage:

  • Avoid inserting the damp cloth inside the ear canal as it can push the wax farther inside
  • Do not rub the skin with pressure because this can be discomforting for the delicate skin of the elderly
  • Use only lukewarm water for cleaning purposes however the cloth must not be dripping with water. It should be damp and clean 
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Irrigate the Ears with a Bulb Syringe

Using a bulb syringe for the removal of ear wax has proven effective in removing the ear wax build in most people. It is also pocket-friendly and convenient. Even elders can do it themselves without worrying about their hands trembling. 

First, soften the buildup of ear wax by putting 1-2 drops of olive oil or baby oil into the ear every morning and night. Do it for 1-2 weeks and now you are ready for irrigation. What to do next?

  • Fill the bulb syringe with warm water (heated up to 37 Celsius/ 98.6 Fahrenheit)
  • Tilt the head on the opposite side of the ear you are removing wax from 
  • Squeeze the bulb syringe into the ear canal so that water can go in and the wax mixes with the water
  • Then lean the elderly’s head in the same direction as the ear so that water can drain out of the ear easily 
  • Lastly, pat dry the outer ear using a soft cotton cloth 

Part 3: How Often Should the Elderly Get Ears Cleaned? 

Ears are self-cleaning but this mechanism slows down in elderly people. Therefore if a person usually goes for ear cleaning once every six or twelve months, the elderly should go more often. The time duration varies depending on personal hygiene habits, the severity of wax build-up, and hearing difficulties. 

Depending upon these factors the elderly can visit professionals once every 3 to 6 months. Since it can be tiring for them to go often for ear cleaning, they can also monitor their ear health using the Bebird kits. This can save them from extra visits to a clinic and maintain the health of their ears at home. 

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Elders have more wax buildup as compared to us and skin dryness makes the wax more sticky. This makes the self-cleaning mechanism of ears less effective. This wax buildup can lead to ear infections, discomfort, and hearing problems. 

Therefore, adults need to require more frequent ear checkups and ear wax removal sessions. The best method is to go to a professional for this. However, not every aged person can travel so you can use the Bebird at-home ear wax removal kit for removing the wax buildup at home. Additionally, one can also try irrigation with a bulb syringe and warm water.

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