Ear wax is normal, but what happens when ear wax becomes a problem. Dr. Rana Khaznadar, a pediatrician at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, explains how ear wax can cause discomfort and the proper techniques for cleaning a child’s ear.

First of all, Dr. Khaznadar stresses that ear wax is normal. But, problems can happen when wax accumulates in your child’s ear. Symptoms are typically discomfort, pain and difficulty hearing. The reason isn’t always clear. That’s why Dr. Khaznadar recommends visiting your child’s pediatrician to get to the bottom of a problem.

Problems related to ear wax:

  • The child’s ear canal could be too small
  • The child’s body could produce too much ear wax
  • Improper ear cleaning, which is caused by use of q-tips at home. Instead of cleaning, the q-tip pushes wax further in and causes wax build up.

Cleaning your child’s ears:

  • Use water to irrigate the ear. She demonstrates this on the video.
  • Use an ear wax removal kit that includes drops to soften the ear wax.
  • Your pediatrician has special tools to remove the wax without causing harm.

If you have any concerns about your child’s ears, your pediatrician is a great resource. For more serious ear problems, your pediatrician may recommend you see an ENT or otolaryngologist.