Ear wax can be annoying or even make it hard to hear. Otolaryngologists tell people not to put objects in their ears to remove wax. That includes cotton swabs which may actually push wax further into the ear. A study in the UK shows that a simple home remedy bay be safe and effective. 237 people who went to a clinic for ear wax removal were studied for two years. Half had their ears flushed out by a nurse while the other half were given ear drops to soften wax along with a bulb syringe to irrigate the ear. Nearly three-quarters of those treated by the nurse came back to the clinic to have their ears cleaned out again. Fewer than two-thirds of those given the bulb syringe needed professional assistance. The investigators concluded that ear irrigation with a bulb syringe seems relative safe and effective for home use.
[Annals of Family Medicine, March/April 2011]