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Dos and Don’ts of Ear Cleaning

Woman with Hand to Ear

When it comes to ear cleaning, there are some things that you definitely should and shouldn’t do. Whether unnecessary or damaging to your ears, there are some important things to consider when cleaning your ears at home. However, if you don’t, then you could experience some problems. Here are some of the top dos and don’ts for ear cleaning.

Do: Avoid cleaning your ears unless you experience issues

The ears are designed to naturally clean themselves. That means that in most circumstances, you will not need to clean your ears. You should just let them be and let the wax gradually move to your outer ear, flake and fall out of your ear in its natural course.

Do: Seek professional help if there is a reason to

If there is a reason to clean your ears, then it is wise to see a health professional such as an audiologist to get help for this. Occasionally, ears can get clogged with excessive wax. This would be one circumstance where it may actually make sense to get your ears cleaned. An audiologist will be able to use special instruments to remove the wax from your ear.

Don’t: Use cotton swabs

While they may seem like the perfect tool, cotton swabs are not ideal when it comes to ear cleaning. In fact, all they really do is push wax down deeper and further back into your ear canal. This can actually increase your chances of developing an earwax impaction. If you use a cotton swabs incorrectly, you can actually cause abrasions in your ear canal or even perforate your eardrum. Both of these can be very painful. So, using cotton swabs inside your ear canal is not advised.

Don’t: Ear candles

Many people use ear candles to try to create a suction effect that lifts excessive earwax out of the ears. While this is an interesting concept, the effectiveness of ear candling is dubious. Also, ear candles are a clear fire hazard. If you make one wrong move while you are ear candling, you could start a fire in your house. Also, there is a very real possibility of dripping hot wax into your ear canal while ear candling, which can actually make your wax problem worse. So, it is best to avoid using ear candling.

Talk more with your audiologist if you’re experiencing frequent issues with your ears or earwax impaction. They will be able to determine if you do produce too much wax and the best course of treatment to follow.


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