Cerumen, commonly known as earwax, is a natural secretion produced in the ear. Because earwax is slightly acidic, it protects against bacteria and fungus. Being oily, earwax forms a waterproof seal protecting your inner ear from moisture.
Normally, you don’t need to clean your ears as any excess earwax in your ear naturally makes its way out of your ear, but sometimes an excess can build up, and you might need to remove it manually. But, what is the best way to do this safely? Here is what audiologists recommend instead of cotton buds.
Avoid Cotton Buds
Cotton buds may look ideal, but if you look at the packaging, you will probably see a warning that tells you not to use them for cleaning inside your ear. If you use a cotton bud, you can easily push earwax further back into your ear canal. The earwax can then become impacted and stay where it is.
Also, using a cotton bud to probe deep into your ear can puncture your eardrum and cause hearing loss. Many people will say that they use cotton buds carefully and don’t go too deeply into the ear. However, accidents happen.
Audiologists don’t recommend that you use cotton buds to clean your ears.
Be Wary of Earwax Removal Kits
As people have become more aware that they shouldn’t use cotton buds, more and more products have appeared on the market as substitutes. There are many different options, from simple ear drops that soften earwax to irrigation kits and scary-looking tools. Although most of these kits are safe if used according to instructions, most audiologists doubt their efficiency and would not recommend using them.
Cleaning Your Ears
Generally, you don’t need to do anything about your earwax. But, if you wish to clean your ears, you can gently cleanse the outsides with a warm washcloth. You can clean the visible part of your ear but do not push the washcloth into your ear.
Symptoms of Impacted Earwax
You may have a problem with impacted earwax if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Dizziness as fluids in your inner ear help you to keep your balance; impacted earwax may affect this essential function
- Ringing in your affected ear, also known as tinnitus
- Loss of hearing in the affected ear
- A feeling that your ear is full
Dealing with excess or impacted earwax is a job for your doctor or audiologist. They will gently and painlessly clean your ears in a quick in-office procedure using medically proven techniques. Never use cotton buds when cleaning your ears, even for external cleansing. Please get in touch with Isabella and the team if you have any concerns over ear wax or your hearing. We will be happy to help! Contact us today