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Old 11-13-2012, 04:21 PM   #6
Tannhauser
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Curiouser and curiouser.

Had a quick google. With regard to removing earwax, the rationale behind using hydrogen peroxide is that it works through mechanical action (presumably fizzing/bubbling?) rather than chemical.

However, there was a paper cited on the American Hearing Research association page, comparing various types of ear-wax treatment. They included olive oil, which I was recommended and which my Dad always used (maybe ear treatment follows strong family traditions?). Guess which solvent worked best?

Quote:
The disintegration of preformed wax plug was noted at specific intervals. The test tube containing distilled water as a control was found to be most effective and fastest in completely disintegrating the wax. This was closely followed by sodium bicarbonate. In contrast, the organic products, namely urea-hydrogen peroxide complex 5% in glycerol showed very little cerumenolytic effect. Olive oil, the most commonly used solution, was ineffective in disintegrating the wax plug even after 24 hours. The study shows aqueous cerumenolytics are more effective than organic agents.
The distilled water worked best.

Putting oxidising agents in your ear...it just doesn't sound a great idea to me.

As for putative effects on health - well, I always feel better when my ears are clean, so maybe it's that.
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