Earwax production depends on age, diet, and genetic factors, according to “Deafness Research UK.” Elderly people and those with a diet high in fat are more likely to have earwax buildup problems. Lack of essential fatty acids leaves earwax stiff and more likely to get backed up, writes Brad Weeks, MD, on his website. Other foods may help prevent earwax buildup or can be used to loosen earwax.
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids include omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. Cod liver and castor oils are good sources of these fatty acids. Dr. Weeks recommends ingesting 3 tbsp.of flaxseed oil daily to help prevent earwax buildup.
What Not to Eat
The authors of “Smart Medicine for Healthier Living” advise avoiding deep-fried foods and heated saturated fats to prevent earwax production. The website “Best Home Remedies” recommends limiting your intake of alcohol and sugars to prevent yeast growth. Yeast infections can make earwax backup more likely. Also minimize your intake of caffeine, chocolate, and sodium.
Foods to Increase Metabolism and Fight Inflammation
Inflammation can cause ear canals to narrow, increasing earwax buildup. Eating fresh pineapple can reduce inflammation. Sea vegetables contain the iodine that will support your thyroid gland and increase metabolism, regulating earwax production and dispersal. Garlic can also help support healthy ear function.
Foods for External Use
“Deafness Research UK” reports that you can try olive oil drops to cleanse your ear canal of excess earwax. Mullein oil or garlic oil can be used to soothe inflammation in the ears, according to “Best Home Remedies.” Garlic oil can help soften earwax and a solution made of equal parts of vinegar and water can help break up earwax buildup.
Sumei FitzGerald has been writing professionally since 2008 on health, nutrition, medicine and science topics. She has published work on doctors' websites such as Colon Cancer Resource, psychology sites such as Webpsykologen and environmental websites such as Supergreenme. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Connecticut where she also studied life sciences.