11 doctors weighed in:

Are there any safe home remedies for ear impaction? How do I tell if that is what is wrong or if it's an ear infection?

11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Katharine Cox
Pediatrics - Emergency Medicine
4 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

It would be best to confirm that excess wax is the problem. As long as there is not a history of perforation or a hole in your ear drum; 2 common home remedies are dilute hydrogen peroxide, 3 parts water to 1 part hydrogen peroxide 1-2 drops twice daily for 5 days and then reassess.
Colace (docusate sodium) solution used typically as a laxative, 1-2 drops twice daily for 5 days may also be helpful. Syringing by MD

In brief: Yes

It would be best to confirm that excess wax is the problem. As long as there is not a history of perforation or a hole in your ear drum; 2 common home remedies are dilute hydrogen peroxide, 3 parts water to 1 part hydrogen peroxide 1-2 drops twice daily for 5 days and then reassess.
Colace (docusate sodium) solution used typically as a laxative, 1-2 drops twice daily for 5 days may also be helpful. Syringing by MD
Dr. Katharine Cox
Dr. Katharine Cox
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3 doctors agree

In brief: See your doctor.

You should be seen by your doctor to make sure that is the problem. If it's ear wax (cerumen) impaction, you may be able to use a wax softener such as Debrox.
You should never use Q-tips to try to clean your ears, as they can cause the wax to be pushed further in, or even worse, perforate your ear drum.

In brief: See your doctor.

You should be seen by your doctor to make sure that is the problem. If it's ear wax (cerumen) impaction, you may be able to use a wax softener such as Debrox.
You should never use Q-tips to try to clean your ears, as they can cause the wax to be pushed further in, or even worse, perforate your ear drum.
Dr. Deborah Ungerleider
Dr. Deborah Ungerleider
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Dr. Lori Semel
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree

In brief: Earwax

I like to mix hydrogen peroxide and water 1:1 and put several drops in each ear every night for a week.
Generally, that clears the ear wax. Ear infections generally involve pain.

In brief: Earwax

I like to mix hydrogen peroxide and water 1:1 and put several drops in each ear every night for a week.
Generally, that clears the ear wax. Ear infections generally involve pain.
Dr. Lori Semel
Dr. Lori Semel
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1 comment
Dr. Bradford Romans
Debrox also can work.
Dr. Christiane Smith
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Depends on symptoms

There is no good way for you to tell for sure at home, however, if you also have symptoms such as fever, chills, sore throat, those would all go along with it more likely being an infection.
Keep in mind, the ear canal itself can also have infection (swimmers ear). You could try some wax softening drops (Debrox ) for a couple days, but if pain worsens, Seek care.

In brief: Depends on symptoms

There is no good way for you to tell for sure at home, however, if you also have symptoms such as fever, chills, sore throat, those would all go along with it more likely being an infection.
Keep in mind, the ear canal itself can also have infection (swimmers ear). You could try some wax softening drops (Debrox ) for a couple days, but if pain worsens, Seek care.
Dr. Christiane Smith
Dr. Christiane Smith
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Dr. Rosemary Pomponio
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Hydrogen peroxide:wa

If pain or fever or bleeding from ear canal see PCP.
If previous history of ear wax, try weekly rinse of canal with hydrogen peroxide: water in 1 to 1 proportions.

In brief: Hydrogen peroxide:wa

If pain or fever or bleeding from ear canal see PCP.
If previous history of ear wax, try weekly rinse of canal with hydrogen peroxide: water in 1 to 1 proportions.
Dr. Rosemary Pomponio
Dr. Rosemary Pomponio
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