Sometimes our best intentions can go awry; this is especially true for cleaning ears. From the skin in the ear canal to the eardrum, the ear is delicate and extremely intricate. As such, it’s important to take extra care of your ear. Proper ear care can be tricky. Many people tend to think that cleaning earwax with cotton swabs is a good idea. Unfortunately, the intention can go wrong, as inserting sharp objects like cotton swabs can lead to earwax impaction, worsening hearing loss, or causing permanent damage, like perforated eardrums.
What is earwax?
It’s not often that people need to have their ears cleaned professionally. After all, cerumen or earwax is a normal and healthy substance our body creates to help protect our ears. Earwax serves as a self-cleaning agent with lubricating, protective and antibacterial properties. Without earwax, we tend to experience dry and itchy ears. As we chew or talk, old earwax is constantly being pushed, from the ear canal to the ear opening where, most of the time, it dries, flakes and falls out.
When should I clean my ears?
As mentioned before, the ear canals rarely need to be cleaned. However, that isn’t always the case, which is why we at Northwest Hearing and Tinnitus provides earwax removal for our clients. Make an appointment with our audiologists today if you are experiencing earaches, fullness in the ear, partial hearing loss, tinnitus, itching, odor or discharge.
How can Northwest Hearing and Tinnitus help?
If safe, at-home ear cleaning methods such as warm washcloths or oil drops don’t work, call Northwest Hearing and Tinnitus for professional earwax removal. Once you arrive, the audiologist will perform manual earwax removal. During manual earwax removal, our specialists will use miniature instruments and a microscope to magnify the ear canal while removing the earwax. Manual removal is preferred if your ear canal is narrow, the eardrum has a perforation or tube, other methods have failed, or if you have skin problems affecting the ear canal, diabetes, or a weakened immune system.
How can I prevent excess earwax?
Unfortunately, there are no proven ways to prevent the formation of excess earwax. That said, our audiologists highlights advise avoiding the use of cotton-tipped swabs or other objects inside the ear canal. If you are experiencing frequent or recurring wax impactions or use hearing aids, contact us every six to 12 months for a checkup and preventive cleaning.