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How Olive Oil Can Prevent Earwax Buildup & Infection

Got a large buildup of wax in your ear? 
Or feel like you’re going to have to battle an oncoming ear infection?
You won’t have to wage war against these conditions alone. 
In fact, you probably won’t even need to visit the doctor’s office to meet your new accomplice. 
It could be right in your kitchen cupboard!
Welcome to the natural benefits of olive oil — the ingredient that not only makes your food taste so good, but also wards off your ear problems. 
To learn all about how it can be used as your next home remedy, take a look at the guide we here at Oh My Ear have put together to make your ears (and meals) become that much healthier. 
Breaks down earwax & prevents infections
Before you try to pick out every last bit of earwax, it’s important to recognize the purpose of it in the first place.
In short, earwax is a substance that the glands in your ear canals produce to keep it healthy. By blocking your ear from dirt, bacteria, water, and other foreign substances, it’ll protect your inner skin from becoming too irritated 
As you naturally go about your day, the excess earwax should escape from your outer ear. This means that you shouldn’t remove earwax just for the sake of it being there. 
However, because the human body functions differently for everyone, some people might end up with more earwax than needed. 
This can lead to a buildup of hardened earwax that blocks your ear canal and makes it harder to hear. In attempting to use a cotton swab or pick to dig it up, you could inadvertently risk some damage and push the wax even further down the canal. 
Luckily, olive oil is there to save the day. 
For years, it’s been used as a natural solution to not only break down that ball of hardened wax, but also hydrate the inner ear. This softening action of the oil makes it easier to remove the wax as a whole without dissolving it. 
Limited scientific research also backs up this benefit. In one 2010 review, it found that adding warm olive oil into the ear before a doctor irrigation was effective at loosening up the hard ball.
Despite this good news, you shouldn’t rely entirely on olive oil to get the job done. That’s because research indicates that over-the-counter ear drops are still more successful than olive oil in breaking everything up. A 2013 study also found that an overuse of oil could lead to even more wax buildup. 
Keep in mind that it should not be your final solution for an ear infection as well. Even though it does contain antimicrobial properties, there hasn’t been enough research to conclusively determine if it can kill ear infection causing bacteria in the first place. 
How to use olive oil for the ear
To take advantage of olive oil’s unique properties, you should first try to find an eyedropper and fill it up. Next, go ahead and lie your face down on the side with the affected ear facing up. Slowly squeeze one drop into the ear and then massage to allow the oil to easily slide into the canal. Then, clear your ear as usual in the shower and dry it off. 
This is a process that you can try once per week for at most, a week or two. If you don’t seem to feel any better or experience some side effects, that’s your cue to call your doctor. 
Final thoughts
If you have a buildup of earwax or a risk of ear infection, using olive oil can be one of the many remedies you pursue. However, it’s crucial to remember that contacting your doctor is the safest and most effective way of treatment to go. If you believe your ear condition is serious or could worsen, go ahead and skip the oil by taking a visit to the hospital instead. Our ear specialists at Oh My Ear encourage you to preserve the gift of your hearing for ages to come.