The only person who should be cleaning out your ears is a professional audiologist. If you do it yourself, you’re risking severe harm to your precious ear canals. Although ear wax can look and feel gross when it gets out of control, the worst thing you can do is try to remove it with cotton swabs, tissues and pinky fingers. Leaving your ear wax alone will help preserve its natural function, which is to protect the ear canal. If it does build up, causing a degree of hearing loss, you can have it removed – just have it done by a professional. Let’s examine why these three cleaning techniques are hurting your ears and why you should therefore see a professional for cleanings.
Far and away the most common technique people use to clean out their ears after a good long shower is the cotton swab. When you do this, you’re damaging your sensitive ear canal no matter how clean and refreshing it may feel. You’re not only harming your ears, you’re also setting yourself up for discomfort in the future. Although the use of a cotton swab can get rid of that first layer of wax, the rest of the wax simply gets pushed into the ear, causing impaction. You can also cause hearing loss when you use a swab in this manner.
Available at any store, ear drops can seem harmless, but you may want to think twice about them. Although they’ve been known to keep earwax from getting out of control, each person is different. That variation in ear canal composition means you won’t always get the results you’re promised on the box. This involves dripping the liquid into each ear, waiting for the liquid and earwax to come out when you tilt your head to the side. Everyone has a different sized ear canal, so what works for one person won’t for another.
Ear candling is just what it sounds like, and it can have disastrous results, such as burning your clothes, hair or skin. The candles are actually made of wax-coated fabric with a long wick that you light and then use to lure out the melted earwax. Ideally, a vacuum is created in the ear through the heat coming off the flame but usually there’s not enough suction to be as effective as it should be. You may be able to draw out some amount of wax in this manner, the risk of burns is too great.
An Audiologist for Ear Care
A professional audiologist is who you should see when it comes to regular cleaning of your ears. They can remove impacted earwax with special tools, using the expertise and know-how they have accumulated over the years to provide an effective solution. You’ll feel cleaner and hear better as a result. The professional can also provide a complete eardrum exam to inspect for any damage. Make regular appointments so you can stay on top of your ear health.