Hey, you! Put down that cotton swab! For some of us, it’s nearly impossible to resist the urge to clean our ears on a regular basis. It’s not uncommon to feel unclean or unkempt due to the feeling of earwax–otherwise known as cerumen–in your ear. A lot of people tend to clean out their ears at home; the problem arises when they make mistakes. The safest way to remove excess cerumen is to go to your audiologist–and if you’re cleaning out your ears on your own, here are a few mistakes you’re almost certainly making.
Don’t use a cotton swab!
A lot of people stick objects in their ears to clean them out–and it doesn’t always have to be cotton swabs. Some also use objects like bobby pins, or other hook-like objects. This only leads to impaction, which is when cerumen is pushed to the back of the inner ear. This can cause significant damage, and even permanent hearing loss.
Cleaning regularly is a no-no
Ears are actually self-cleaning; the skin within the ear grows in one direction, and so this pushes out all the dirt and skin cells that need to be excreted. Actually, you probably don’t have to get rid of earwax at all, unless it’s causing a hearing issue. In this case, the best thing to do is go to the doctor. Regardless, cleaning your ears on a regular basis isn’t actually necessary, and might cause more trouble.
Really? A candle?
You honestly want to stick a hot flame near your ear, just to get rid of wax buildup? No. The flame can burn your ear, or even your eardrum–it can also make the wax hot enough to burn. Instead of risking your hearing and your hair catching on fire, just go to the doctor, or leave the wax be.
Need your ears cleaned? Afraid your hearing has been affected by impaction? Bay Area Audiology is here to help!
Ready to change the way you look at hearing loss? Our Doctor of Audiology, Dr. Trisha A. Bents Muth, is exceptionally experienced in the art of audiology, and is dedicated to providing the absolute best solutions. Bay Area Audiology has been working to give patients a comfortable environment, with thorough evaluations. We are independently owned, and unbiased when it comes to finding you the care you need.
Don’t hesitate–we can help.