Q. Is it safe to put a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide in your ear to stop an ear ache? -Myrna

Hi Myrna,

It can, if you’re careful. Hydrogen peroxide is toxic to cells – all cells. So I would not put this in the ear at full strength.

What I do recommend is cutting it to half strength by adding an equal amount of water and then use this to irrigate the ear. For people who have problems with excess ear wax build up this is an excellent way to clear that wax over time. Keep a small bottle of this in your bathroom and once or twice a week, tilt your head and fill the ear canal and let it stay in the canal for 30 seconds. Then allow it to drain out and repeat this process on the other ear. A simple thing to do in the shower.

For treating ear aches, peroxide will only help if the ache is coming from inflammation in the canal itself. If the problem is from an infection on the other side of the eardrum then this will not be beneficial. If you pull on the ear or push on the tragus (google that word to see what the tragus is) and this results in sharp pain then this typically represents an infection of the ear canal. You should see your doctor for treatment if this is the case.

If ear infections are frequent then consider the possibility that your immune system is not working well. Why? Could probiotics and proper bowel treatment augment immune response? Go see our articles on bowel health and immune function.

I hope that is of help to you.
Dr. Gary Huber

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