Hydrogen peroxide or H2O2 is a highly reactive pale blue liquid with string bleaching, antibacterial, and oxidizing properties. It has been used since ages to treat ear infections, alleviate ear pain, etc.It is used as a bleaching agent in the industrial sector, while in the medical sector it is used as an antiseptic and a disinfectant to promote faster healing of wounds and cuts.
Hydrogen peroxide can be used to remove foreign bodies that are stuck in the ear as well as to treat external ear infections. The chemical creates an effervescent reactions which brings out the trapped matter so that they can be taken out easily, thereby preventing the risk to infections.
Benefits of using hydrogen peroxide to treat ear problems
- Hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria and thus helps treat an ear infection. It be put in the ear to heal cuts or scrapes.
- Wax buildup in the ear is not only discomforting but also impairs hearing. Hydrogen peroxide can be put in ear to soften ear wax and thus facilitate its easy removal.
- Pierced ears are at susceptible to infections till they heal completely. Hydrogen peroxide’s antibacterial properties can help prevent such infections.
- Some believe that putting a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in the ear will help prevent colds and flu or reduce its severity by travelling from the ear to the nasal region and destroying the pathogens present there.
Can you put hydrogen peroxide in the ear: Safety aspects!
- Hydrogen peroxide can be put in the ear to treat the occasional ear infection, etc., after consulting a doctor. Prolonged or excessive use of H2O2 in the ear is not recommended.
- Patients suffering from fluid discharge from the ear, severe ear pain, and impaired hearing should not put hydrogen peroxide in the ear as treatment for infections or earwax removal as the symptoms can be an indication some severe ear obstruction, etc. It is better to consult a doctor and seek treatment in such cases.
- Hydrogen peroxide should be put in the ear if the eardrum is puncture or perforated, as doing so may result in ear pain or mastoiditis if the chemical reaches the middle ear or mastoid cavity.
- People with sensitive skin should not use H2O2 to clear earwax. It may be used after consultations with the doctor and ensuring that the chemical is diluted to 3 percent or less.
- Inner ear infections or infections that are next to the eardrum should not be treated with hydrogen peroxide as it may cause deafness.
- Internal or middle ear infections as well as severe ear infections need to be treated by a doctor.
Procedure for using hydrogen peroxide for ear infections
Ear infections can be classified into middle ear/otitis media infections, external ear/otitis externa infections, and internal ear/otitis interna infections and middle ear infections is the most common.The condition occurs due to swelling of the Eustachian tube due to trapping of earwax, foreign matter, and fluids in the tube or other blockages. This provides the right conditions for bacterial overgrowth leading to ear infections. Children are prone to ear infections as they have smaller Eustachian tubes. Hydrogen peroxide solution with 3 percent of less concentration can be used to treat minor ear infections.
- Tilt the head and drop 2 to 3 drops of hydrogen peroxide with an eye dropper as treatment for external ear infections.
- Bubbling or effervescent action of H2O2 will occur in 15 to 20 minutes.
- Tilt head in the other way so that the solution can get out of the ear.
- Use a bulb aspirator after every few days to remove the accumulated earwax.
- Soak a cotton ball into some rubbing alcohol, keep it over the ear and squeeze so that a few drops go into it. Later tilt to drain out the alcohol.
Procedure for using hydrogen peroxide for earwax removal
- Pour a few drops of almond oil/olive oil in the ear.
- After waiting for a few minutes, use an eye dropper to put 2 to 3 drops of hydrogen peroxide in the ear.
- When bubbling occurs, tilt the head and let the chemical drain out.
- Now fill a bulb aspirator with warm water, tilt the head, and place the aspirator at a 45 degree angle to the ear. Now quirt the warm water into the ear to remove and flush out the earwax.
- Dry the ear with a towel.
The above procedure is helpful for removing minor amounts of earwax. Visit a doctor to treat a severe case of earwax blockage/buildup of the ear.
Procedure for using hydrogen peroxide for healing pierced ears
- Wash the hands with soap and water.
- Dip a swab of cotton into diluted hydrogen peroxide solution.
- Apply on all areas near the pierced hole; do not miss any part
- Let it dry out
- Apply 3 times a day till the ear piercing heals completely so as to prevent infections.
Procedure for using hydrogen peroxide for flu and colds
- As mentioned above, put 2 to 3 drops of hydrogen peroxide in the ear, let it remain till it starts bubbling, and then remove it with a Q-tip or let it drain out by tilting the head.
- Repeat 3 times per day to treat and prevent flu and cold.