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Utah: 435-688-8991 Nevada: 702-896-0031

How to Clean Your Ears Properly

It’s good to clean your ears, but doing it incorrectly could cause damage and affect your hearing. The ear is delicate, especially the ear canal and eardrum. That’s why when you clean your ears, you should know how to do it safely.

What Needs to Be Cleaned

Earwax, also known as cerumen, cleans and protects the ear. It acts as a barrier to germs and bacteria and lubricates the ear. When there isn’t enough earwax, the ear may be dry and itchy. Earwax is your body’s natural cleaning agent. Old earwax dries and falls out naturally from the ear opening. Chewing and jaw movements are what pushes the old earwax towards the opening.

Earwax doesn’t form in the ear canal near the eardrum. The only reason some people have earwax there is that they have pushed it there.

how_to_clean_your_ears_properly-1Safely Cleaning the Ears

You really shouldn’t be concerned with cleaning your ears yourself. The only person who should clean the ear canals are audiologists such as the ones at Hearing & Balance Doctors. Usually, audiologists only clean the ear canal when a patient reports an earache with a feeling of fullness in the ear, hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), itching, or coughing. Other than that, it typically isn’t necessary.

All you need to do to clean the ear is to wipe the outer edge of the ear. This is where old earwax collects. If you feel you need a more thorough cleaning, place a couple of drops of mineral, baby, olive, or commercial drops in your ear. This will help lubricate the outer and inner ear to facilitate the movement of earwax.

Never place anything in your ear to remove wax, especially ear candles. While they are advertised as a safe, effective way to remove wax, they are dangerous. They can cause burns, obstruction of the ear canal and perforation of the membrane inside of the ear.

When to Contact an Audiologist

Routine preventive cleaning is available for people who have an overproduction of earwax. If you clean your ears safely (without the use of ear swabs or anything else that probes the ear canal) and you still suffer from inhibited hearing or feeling as though there is earwax n the ear canal, contact an audiologist. After a thorough examination, the audiologist can perform a cleaning using special equipment to vacuum and wash out the ear. You may also receive eardrops to keep the ears clean in between cleanings.

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