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How to Safely Clean Your Ears

Everyone with ears knows that wax can be annoying. Ear wax is natural. But a build-up of wax in the ear canal can affect hearing and make life miserable.

Lots of us experience excessive ear wax at some point – a condition called cerumen impaction. Wax removal is a delicate process best handled by a hearing professional or doctor.

Excess earwax can be so uncomfortable that many people try home remedies like ear candling, ear swabs, or over-the-counter ear cleaners.

At Hearing Sense, during our FREE hearing appointments, we can check your ears and see if there is any build-up that may be affecting your hearing. Ignoring the signs of a blockage and letting earwax build up in the ear canal can lead to long-term hearing loss.

Here are some of the most common questions we get about earwax and cleaning your ears:

Why do we have earwax?

Earwax — called cerumen — doesn’t get a lot of credit for its role in good health. It’s
completely natural for your body to produce this sticky, waxy substance as part of the ear’s
self-cleaning mechanism.

Earwax traps tiny particles of dirt, dead skin cells and dust, filtering them out and away to protect the eardrum and the inner ear. The wax also lubricates the ear canal to prevent dryness or itching.

Do I have to see a doctor to have my ears cleaned?

If your ear canal is completely blocked, see your doctor or an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist for the safe removal of the wax.

The ear is incredibly delicate, and excess wax can damage your eardrums. Even if there is no rupture, we recommend visiting your doctor or ENT specialist.

Book an appointment at your local GP if you:

  • Use hearing aids
  • Swim regularly
  • Have very narrow ear canals
  • Have an excessive amount of earwax.

There are many misconceptions about ear cleaning — not all methods are safe or reliable solutions for dealing with earwax.

Is it safe to clean ears with Q-tips or cotton buds?

No. Many people use Q-tips or cotton buds for ear cleaning, but it simply isn’t safe to stick objects into your ear canal. Essentially you push the wax in deeper rather than getting it out.

Be extra careful with ear swabs if you have:

  • Had ear surgery
  • A ruptured eardrum
  • Ear pain or drainage.

Imagine a narrow pipe full of dirt. You want to remove the dirt with a long stick. But the stick you’re using is only a little narrower than the pipe and much shorter.

In the same way, pushing a cotton swab onto your ear canal pushes the plug of wax further down. You may block the exit and risk injuring the eardrum. When the wax hardens right near the eardrum, it can lead to drastic hearing loss.

You can use some softening drops to help your GP remove the wax more easily, or once you have had your ear cleaned, use the oil to maintain a clear ear canal. We sell Clean Ears oil over the counter at our clinics, and it is available for $15.

Are you struggling with earwax build-up? Our Adelaide-based hearing clinic can help. Our experienced clinicians offer gentle and effective wax removal services using the latest micro suction technology. Book your appointment online today or call us on 83318047 and experience the difference our clinicians can make!


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