Q&A: My child has a lot of ear wax build-up. Should I be concerned?
My son Michael is five and has always had a lot of ear wax build-up. He has had several ear infections in the past, and anytime that he has been seen at the doctor his ears must be flushed out in the office so they can get a better view of the ear canal. Our physician has recommended flushing Michael's ears every three to four months at home using DeBrox drops the night before and then flushing the ears the next morning with an ear syringe. I have read some articles about not being too concerned about wax build-up. Do you feel that it is necessary to flush the ears or do you have any other recommendations?
Ear wax isn’t actually a bad thing. It only becomes a problem in the unusual cases where it completely clogs the ear or when someone needs to get it out of the way to see the ear drum behind it. Normally, the ear takes care of ‘cleaning’ itself of wax, so routine cleaning isn’t necessary.
Irrigation is safe, however, though as you know, it can get a bit messy. By age five or six, most children are getting fewer ear infections. If Michael’s hearing isn’t affected, (and hearing rarely is by ear wax), then instead of routinely irrigating his ears, consider irrigating a few days before planned doctor’s visits.