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The Best Way To Clean Your Ears

Do your ears feel congested? Excess earwax can build up and make hearing difficult at times.

You may have an idea that using cotton swabs to remove wax is discouraged. Here are some simple tips on how to clean your ears safely, what to avoid, and when you should see a doctor.

The Logic Behind Earwax

The ear produces earwax to clean and help defend itself. It’s produced by skin glands that line the external half of your ear canals. These passages’ wax and tiny hairs capture dust and other foreign particles that could endanger deeper structures, specifically your eardrum.

Is it necessary to remove ear wax?

It’s not really necessary. The ear cleans itself. There is no need for routine maintenance. Think twice before inserting swabs into your ears to remove or prevent earwax buildup because you might end up putting your ears in danger.

Why does it feel good to clean your ears?

Ears contain nerve endings, and stimulating them with a cotton bud can “trigger all sorts of visceral pleasure” which can be likened to the “itch-scratch” cycle; once started, it is difficult to stop!

Cerumen Impaction

Cerumen impaction is defined as a buildup of cerumen or earwax that causes symptoms or prevents examination of the tympanic membrane, ear canal, or audiovestibular system. A complete blockage is not required to be diagnosed with cerumen impaction.

What causes impacted cerumen?

The most common cause of cerumen impactions is the use of cotton swabs (and other sharp objects including hair pins, toothpicks, and rolled napkin corners), which may remove superficial wax but also pushes the rest of the ear wax deeper into the ear canal. Users of hearing aids, earplugs, or earbuds are also more prone to earwax blockage.

How do you remove impacted cerumen?

Cerumen removal can be attempted through professional irrigation of the external auditory canal. Manual removal with suction, a curette, or forceps may also be performed. These treatment options must be done by an audiologist or hearing healthcare professional. 

Ear Cleaning Do’s and Dont’s

No cotton swabs

Cotton swabs should not be inserted into the ear canal, according to the instructions on the box of Q-Tips. Nonetheless, cotton swabs are still a common household item. Since cotton swabs are long, and ear canals can be quite narrow, a small amount of pressure is all it takes to puncture the eardrum or injure the tiny bones inside your ear. While it may feel satisfying to use cotton swabs to clean your ears, you may be pushing the earwax deeper into the ears.

Avoid using hydrogen peroxide

It is believed that hydrogen peroxide can serve as a DIY ear cleaning agent. While part of this is true, using hydrogen peroxide is discouraged if there is a more serious underlying problem in the ears. Individuals with a hole in the eardrum may be seriously harmed, this chemical can cause additional harm.  hydrogen peroxide is far too dangerous to use in sensitive ears.

Don’t use ear candles

Although this ancient procedure is not widely used, it is dangerous enough to warrant mention. Ear candling entails inserting one end of a hollow candle into your ear with the opposite end lit. The heated candle is supposed to melt the earwax, allowing it to travel down the hollow tube. Ear candling is extremely dangerous, and no research has demonstrated its effectiveness. Ear candling, more often than not, causes more harm than good and may lead to extremely unpleasant results.

Do not attempt DIY ear-vacuuming

Again, nothing should be inserted into the ear canal. Ear vacuums may appear to be a tempting cleaning option, but any instrument inserted into the ear can cause damage if not supervised by a professional.

Outer ear cleaning

You can clean the outer ears with a soft cloth or damp towel after taking a bath. The moisture can remove external dirt easily and excess moisture can be removed at the same time. Just make sure that you don’t put a finger inside the ear canal because that will pose the same risk as putting a cotton swab inside your ears.

Seek professional help

The safest way to clean ears is through a professional. This way, the ears can be thoroughly checked. Impactions, perforations, and other auditory concerns can also be noted. Audiologists have the tools and equipment to ensure that your ears are clean and free from earwax and any other obstructions.

Earwax Removal Services in Rockledge, FL

Life is so much better with healthy hearing! Having clean ears is an integral part of hearing health. Leave the ear cleaning to the experts – Harbor City Hearing solutions offers professional earwax removal services to ensure that your ears are at their prime.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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