What you should and should not do to get rid of earwax

Earwax is one of those things everyone knows about, but rarely discusses. So, we’re going to address earwax in this article. The medical term for earwax is ‘cerumen’. Cerumen is a naturally produced orange, gray, yellow substance made in the ear canal. The purpose of earwax is to clean and protect the ears from bacteria, dust, microorganisms and foreign particles. Ear wax naturally works its way out of the canal and into the ear opening, under normal circumstances. When this wax builds up, removing it can be achieved in many ways. A number of these techniques are safe, but some of them are not. In this article, we will unveil the best practices for managing your earwax.

What you SHOULD NOT do

  • You should not ever clean your ears too much. Wax can actually build up from overcleaning your ears. Furthermore, it can cause your ear canal to suffer irritation and infection.
  • You should not ever stick anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.
  • You should not use cotton swabs, bobby pins, keys, paper clips or anything small or similar to scratch, touch or clean your ears. These items can cause harm to the ear canal, like a scratch, cut or possibly a punctured eardrum. A punctured eardrum has the ability to lead to a number of other serious issues.
  • You should not use ear candles. According to studies, ear candling doesn’t really reduce the amount of wax in a person’s ear canal. More importantly, ear candling your eardrum and ear canal can be damaged from candling.

What you SHOULD do

  • You should keep in mind that earwax is a natural substance common to everyone. Unless it affects your hearing or blocks your ear canal it can be left as is.
  • You should be familiar with the symptoms of earwax buildup: Symptoms include ringing in the ears, decreased hearing, ear fullness, as well as changes in hearing aid functionality: distortion, etc.
  • You should seek the help of medical professionals if you notice a change in your hearing, ringing, or a feeling of fullness in your ears with or without pain in the ear. Additional conditions, like ear infections, can exhibit symptoms such as earwax build-up Seek medical attention if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, so you can rule out any serious conditions.
  • You should consult a medical professional before you implement ANY at-home remedies to remove earwax. Some medical conditions can clash with home remedies and make them unsafe.
  • You should remember to clean your hearing aids specifically as suggested by your hearing healthcare professional.

For more information on how to clean your hearing aids, click here.

If you believe you have a build-up of ear wax, are noticing differences in your hearing, or just simply want a baseline hearing test, we can help. Call (888) 919-6824 or click here and we’ll help you schedule a consultation with a hearing care professional near you!


By Starkey Canada