Do’s and Don'ts of Ear Cleaning
The ears are incredibly important organs. They enable us to listen and communicate, they play a crucial role in maintaining balance and they give us access to amazing sensory experiences around us. If you’re looking to protect your hearing for as long as possible, you might be wondering how you can look after your ears. One issue that often creeps up when patients meet with their audiologist is ear cleaning. Unlike other parts of the body, you don’t usually have to clean your ears, as they have a self-cleaning mechanism. In some cases, when there is too much earwax in the ears, you might find that you’re tempted to clean your ears at home. Here are some do’s and don’ts of ear cleaning to help you protect your ears.
- Be gentle
If you’re cleaning your ears at home, make sure you’re as gentle as possible. The ears are very delicate and intricate structures, and you don’t have to be firm to do a thorough job. If you’re cleaning your ears, simply wipe the outer ear with a damp cotton pad or tissue.
- Keep an eye out for changes in earwax
When you’re wiping your ears, you’ll probably notice traces of earwax on your tissue or cloth. It’s always beneficial to have a quick look at the wax to check the color. If the wax appears darker than normal, and it has more of a brown tinge than a yellow hue, this may suggest that there is more debris within the ear than usual.
- Clean your hearing aids on a regular basis
If you use hearing aids, it’s essential to clean them frequently. This will ensure that the devices function properly, as well as helping to reduce the risk of infections and wax build-up.
- Seek advice if you have any questions or concerns
If you have questions about ear cleaning, your ears are painful, or you feel like your ears are blocked, don’t hesitate to contact your audiologist.
- Use cotton swabs
Many of us are guilty of putting cotton swabs down the ear canal to dislodge earwax and clean our ears out. Cleaning your ears in this way can do more harm than good, as you can actually push hardened wax further into the ear canal. Instead of using cotton buds, or any other foreign object, consult your audiologist. They will be able to recommend safe cleaning techniques.
- Believe the hype about ear cleaning fads
If you read magazines or you’re interested in health news, you might have come across ear cleaning fads like using ear candles. If you read about new trends, always proceed with caution. Ear candles are supposed to remove excessive wax, but they can be dangerous. Using candles carries a risk of burns, and it can also damage the ear canal and the eardrum. If you do want to clean your ears, arrange to see your audiologist.
Ear cleaning is something many of us don’t think about because the ears clean themselves. If you are prone to earwax build up, or you feel like your ears are blocked, and you have questions about ear cleaning, contact your audiologist before attempting cleaning at home or opting for a treatment that may do more harm than good.
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