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Avoid These Ear-Cleaning Mistakes

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Hand and Ear

You probably already have a pretty good idea on smart things to do when it comes to cleaning your ears. You know to only use audiology-approved cleaning products to wash them gently so that you don’t wear away the tissue. You also know to ask your audiologist if you have any questions.

But what are some things that you should avoid while cleaning your ears? There are some so-called cleaning methods that people think are safe, but in fact, can actually cause more harm. Here are some tips and tricks to avoiding potential damage while cleaning your ears.

Don’t use cotton swabs

Q-tips and cotton tips are very dangerous and not recommended as a safe cleaning method. While the feeling of digging out earwax can be satisfying, it’s dangerous. It isn’t difficult to accidentally stick the cotton swab too far into the ear, putting you at risk of a lot of damage, a lot of pain and even hearing loss. Using a cotton swab actually impacts the earwax and debris into your ear canal more, making it more difficult to clean.

Don’t use ear-candling

Ear-candling, which uses a fabric cone soaked in wax or paraffin, isn’t recommended by healthcare professionals as a safe or effective method of removing excess earwax. Ear-candling involves sticking the fabric cone into the ear canal and lighting the other end. The heat is said to create a vacuum that sucks earwax out.

The problem is, most clinical studies report that ear candles don’t work. In fact, most physicians and researchers report that the waxy substance found within the cone afterwards is the candle’s coating not from the ear.

Whatever you do, don’t wait

If your ears have been itchy, irritated, red, painful or seem to be producing pus, or your hearing seems compromised for more than a day or two, call your audiologist right way. The more time problems and issues have to take root, the more difficult they are to treat.

Because our auditory system is self-cleaning and actually creates earwax to carry dirt and debris out of the canal, most individuals do not need to do much to keep their ears in tip-top shape. When getting out of the bath or shower, simply take a dry or damp cloth and clean the outer edges of your ears, being careful not to insert your finger into the canal. This will remove the debris your ears have pushed out, while keeping the delicate system inside the canal safe.

Talk more with an audiologist if you experience frequent impactions or need more tips to keep your ears clean.