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Is Olive Oil Really Helping to Get Rid of Ear Wax?

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Is olive oil really helping to get rid of an ear infection and built-up earwax or is this just a myth?


She said you’re deaf but you can’t hear her anyway. It’s not because you are really deaf or because she is speaking in a language you would need to google translate her, it is probably because of the extra ear wax which is forming in your ears and considerably has already become infected.

Anyway, you already know your condition of an ear, but you don’t want to jump to the doctor straight away. That is why you are here, reading about the truth of a kitchen ingredient called olive oil.

Yes, the one you put on the salad or burn a fish in it.

Olive oil benefits

  • Lowering risk of cancer
  • Lowering the risk of heart disease
  • Preventing strokes
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Is fighting Alzheimer’s disease
  • Reducing type 2 diabetes risk
  • Is helping to treat rheumatoid arthritis
  • And many more…

Those are all benefits of olive oil used orally. But what if we drip the olive oil in our ears? Will, this help to reduce excessive ear wax or maybe even heal an ear infection? Or is this all just a myth?

Treat built-up earwax with olive oil?

Earwax is a brilliant thing that is produced by glands to lubricate the skin of an ear canal. Normally the ear wax doesn’t need to be removed, but when the glands produce too much of it the condition can lead to problems such as headache, itching, redness, discomfortable feeling, and the ear infection.

Most of the people feel when the earwax is overloading in their ears and they know it’s time to visit a doctor for the cleaning process called ear irrigation. Ear irrigation can also be done at home using different tools which are easy to use. You can read more about ear irrigation and the ear irrigation tools here or check out our list of the best tools here

Is really the doctor all you got or you can help yourself with olive oil?

The truth about olive oil as a medicine for earwax

It’s a myth!

There is even a study (2003) where participants applied olive oil in their ears once a day for straight 24 weeks. After such a long period of using the olive oil, they even gained more of the earwax.

On the beginning, the study was showing that olive oil can actually help the doctor to get rid of an earwax fluently but after longer use, this wasn’t the case.

The case is you shouldn’t overdo it with olive oil drops if you have excessive ear wax. Better would be to choose ear drops which you can even get without a prescription.

We thought you should know that every ear is different. Maybe yours will like the treatment. And for sure there is no negative correlation with treating your ears with an olive oil.

Try it on your own

You will need an eyedropper  or a cotton swab with which you will dip in the olive oil and let the excessive oily liquid dip into your ear.

*Don’t put a cotton swab in your ears!

*Olive oil should be in room temperature to avoid dizziness or vomit!

The procedure

  • Tilt your head on one side. The affected  ear is facing up.
  • Grab the downer part of your ear and gently pull it away from your face. This method will open the ear canal.
  • Drop 2-3 olive oil drops in the ear canal. While dropping focus on the ear canal which should be all liquefied. If this is not possible with an eyedropper, gently massage the outer ear.
  • Wait 5-10 minutes in the tilted head position. To avoid extra oil dripping all over your face and neck use the warm towel to put it on your ear.
  • Repeat the treatment once a day for one or two weeks. And don’t forget that if you are using olive oil for too long the built-up wax will become your never ending story.

Treat ear infection with olive oil?

Certainly, olive oil contains anti-infection ingredients which can kill some of the bacterias. But in the end, there are so many different bacteria out there and no certain proof that olive oil is the magic killer of bacteria which are nesting in our ears.

However, it is for sure good ingredient to calm down the pain in the ears of our children. The best is to use herbal drops which not only that they contain olive oil but also the calendula and lavender.

Try it on your own

The try it on your own treatment is exactly the same as treatment for excessive ear wax.


Repeat the treatment for 2-3 days only and do it twice a day. The best time to do it is in the morning and in the evening.

What kind of olive oil should be used?

Spare your ear with high-quality olive oil. Beside the label, there should be written virgin olive oil. 

Virgin means it hasn’t been chemically processed. Same as for any  other food processing leads to loss of health benefits. Not only the food loses therapeutic benefits…it also doesn’t work as it supposed to work.

If you don’t want to trick yourself with buying olive oil you can actually buy olive oil drops which contain more ingredients. Ingredients such as garlic. Funny, right?


Don’t use olive oil or any of the natural home ingredients if you suffer from a ruptured eardrum!

And do use the olive oil in room temperature!

Other Recommended Tools to Remove Earwax

Instead of olive oil, there are many other tools which can be used to clean your earwax buildup more effectively. One of the most recommendable tools are listed below:

What is Next?

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Impacted Earwax

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What, why and how to treat it?

What is earwax?

It’s a nasty looking thing in your ear canal. If you dare to put your finger in your ear you will feel moisty substance which is a yellowish-gray  color.

But, please don’t put your fingers inside of an ear canal. The ear canal is the tube which is leading to the fragile eardrum. With sticking fingers or anything else in your ears, you can develop a painful infection or rupture an eardrum.


Benefits of earwax

It has a moisturizing effect on a skin of an outer ear canal. It also protects bacteria from entering in your ears which later can become your worst nightmare known as ear infection.

The downside  of an earwax

There is none unless the glands start to produce too much of it. The complication is known as build-up wax or impacted wax.


How can too much of an earwax happen?

Special glands are in charge of earwax production. 

Glands with the help of dead skin cells are together producing an earwax and pushing it slowly from the inner part of an ear to the direct entrance of an ear.

The thing goes wrong when glands are faster-producing earwax than our bodies can remove it. This can be very bad and it can lead to hearing loss.

Funny fact!

If you move your jaw you can help to push the earwax all the way to the entrance of an ear canal.

Why does impacted earwax happen?

The right question would be who and why do some people have impacted earwax. We all can blame a little bit of genetics for giving us, for example, narrowed ear canals or ourselves because we were sticking cotton swabs and all the other things in our ears.

There are also other reasons. 

For example, there is a high possibility for older people with thinking (cognitive) problems to get excessive earwax. 

Also, the people who have a skin disease known as eczema, usually have too much earwax in their ears.

Other health conditions which cause excessive earwax:

  • Autoimmune diseases (lupus…)
  • Narrowed ear canal (chronic inflammation, injury)
  • Due to injury
  • Bony blockage (exostosis or osteoma)
  • Infectious diseases (Swimmer’s ear, external otitis)

Not necessary that those conditions will directly lead to the impacted earwax. 

They can be felt like a physical blockage which is really irritating.

The trigger point for the development of excessive earwax is also the stuff that we put inside of our ears to protect our ears. Stuff such as hearing aids, swimming plugs and swim molds. It is because of its repeating use.

However, in some cases, there is no known reason why does extra earwax form excessively.

Symptoms of impacted earwax

  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness
  • Cough
  • Earache
  • Sense of ear fullness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Itching in the ears

You don’t need to have all of the signs mentioned above to be diagnosed for impacted earwax. Usually, 2 symptoms are enough. 

We advise you to visit your doctor for a check-up.

How does (ONT) doctor recognize impacted earwax?

The health care provider will diagnose you with an impacted earwax after the check-up (physical exam) and knowledge of your health history status.

*Maybe you will do the hearing test in a big auditory box. By the way, the test is really cool!

Anyway don’t worry about visiting your doctor. It takes only a minute to see through the otoscope if you have impacted earwax. For example if the doctor can not see your eardrum than for sure you have too much of earwax in your ears.

Treatment Of Impacted Earwax

Sometimes you don’t need treatment, because our bodies know how to heal themselves. So don’t panic if you are experiencing any of the symptoms written above. Maybe they will go away on its own. 

But if symptoms don’t go away on its own then you have 3 treatment options to get rid of the earwax.

The doctor will decide which option to take in your case or maybe even the combination of options listed above. 


Do not do it by yourself at home. Avoid ear handling and ear vacuum kits. With those tools you can easily rupture an eardrum. If you want to clean your ear at home then we highly advise you to check out our list of the best product for ear cleaning which can be found here.

For cleaning the ear go to a specialist and even if you do it with a specialist some problems can occur.

Complications after cleaning the ear

  • Dizziness
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • The sensation of water in the ear canal
  • Eardrum hole (perforation)
  • Ear pain
  • Temporary hearing loss
  • Bleeding from the ear

Different people have a different response on cleaning the ear canal. Definitely, you should mention your health history status to your doctor.

Call a doctor immediately if you are bleeding from an ear or you feel severe pain!


Prevention is only possible if you are a healthy individual without any symptoms of the disease such as eczema for example.

If you are healthy you can prevent build-up earwax with a topical agent once a week and go for a regular ear cleaning every half a year.

Of course the number one prevention is not to stick anything in your ears. Cotton swabs even push the earwax more deep in the ear canal. 

Prepare yourself for a doctor’s visit

  1. Be specific why you are visiting the doctor.
  2. Come with a list of questions.
  3. Have a buddy next to you. Two heads remember more than only one.
  4. Ask the doctor if there are more ways to treat your condition.
  5. Write down a contact number from a doctor in case of the emergency.