Why Do You Need to
Clean Your Ears?
Ear cleaning is an often forgotten practice; especially when compared to an activity such as shampooing your hair or brushing your teeth. However, leaving your ears without proper cleaning can create serious health concerns.
Cerumen, colloquially known as earwax, is naturally produced in the ears. It builds up to prevent intrusion from foreign objects and also protects the ears from infections. Usually, the ears can push out cerumen on their own. However, an excessive amount of earwax can build up in the ears (impaction) and create the very problems it’s meant to solve.
Why Should You Get A
Professional to Clean Your Ears?
Many ear issues can occur due to a buildup of excessive earwax. Hearing loss is a common problem due to this very issue. Tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing sound heard when the environment is mostly silent, can also be caused by excessive earwax. Earaches can also develop from cerumen buildup.
Ear cleaning is best done by professionals. This ensures that the cleaning is done thoroughly and also doesn’t cause injury to the eardrum and ear canal.
With professional help, ear issues that are developing or underlying can be diagnosed during the cleaning process. This will allow for quicker medical intervention.
After the cleaning is done, an audiologist will also give you tips on preventing the accumulation of earwax in your ears. They can also give you product recommendations to maintain your auditory health.
How Ears Are Cleaned?
Ear irrigation is the most common method of ear cleaning. It involves the use of an ear syringe that the audiologist fills with warm water and uses to gently wash the earwax out of the ear canal. The process takes very little time and causes little to no discomfort.
Ear irrigation is gentle and effective but not recommended for all patients. If you have had ear surgery recently, or if you have an ear condition like a perforated eardrum, you should not get ear irrigation.
The other method of ear cleaning is known as dry removal. Also known as manual removal or instrumental removal, the audiologist will use ear drops to soften the earwax and other tools like ear curettes, forceps or suction devices to remove the earwax.
Dry removal can be a safe process but, like ear irrigation, certain medical conditions make it unsuitable for some patients. Also, if the individual has a bleeding disorder or any medical condition that stunts the healing process, dry removal isn’t suitable for them.
Should You Clean Your
While you can clean your ears yourself, your best course of action is to leave the process to the professionals. Many things can go wrong during the process if an inexperienced hand tries ear cleaning.
If an experienced audiologist can’t be reached, there are a few tips on DIY ear cleaning.
- Ear irrigation can be performed solo with a bulb syringe and warm water. After filling the syringe, you just need to use gentle pressure to wash the earwax and tilt your head to drain the water and wax.
- Ear drops for earwax removal can be purchased over the counter at most pharmacies. Take care to follow the instructions to the letter.
- Avoid the use of cotton swabs and other objects. They are prone to pushing earwax deeper into the canal or damaging the ear drum during the process.
How Often Should You Clean Your Ears?
Ears are, for the most part, self-cleaning. As such, they don’t require the same attention as other parts of the body. When earwax is produced, it can naturally migrate out of the body. Also, earwax isn’t a toxic or unsanitary substance – it’s main purpose is to keep the ears clean and healthy.
Regularly cleaning your ears with cotton swabs and other unsuitable tools can disrupt the body’s natural production of earwax. This situation can lead to increased earwax production and blockages.
Any concerns you have about ear-related issues should be taken to an audiologist or other medical professionals.
Should You Get Your
Hearing Tested As Well?
It is not necessary to include a hearing test with the cleaning but, if you have any concerns about your hearing, you should bring it up with your audiologist.
Also, if you have signs like dizziness, ringing in your ears, or hearing difficulty, testing your hearing is recommended.
During your ear cleaning, your audiologist is also examining your ear canal for any possible issues. If they suspect anything is amiss, they can include a test of your hearing to properly diagnose the problem.