Nearly everyone admits to removing earwax from their ear canals, whether it has been with a pinky or pieces of paper towel. This vital yet unpleasant part of overall ear health can certainly feel uncomfortable at time, but your ear canal is a very sensitive organ. It should come as no big surprise, then, that common at-home cleaning techniques do more harm than good. Even though you may feel like you’re getting a good cleaning, you’re causing unseen damage. Here are some of the harmful ways that people are cleaning their ears improperly and why a cleaning by a professional is the best option.
Use of Cotton Swabs
After a nice hot shower, part of your routine may be to clean your ears with a cotton swab. Sure, it may feel as though you’ve done a stellar job of cleaning your ear canal, but in actuality, you may have caused yourself future discomfort. During this practice, superficial earwax is caught by the cotton tip, but a lot of it is pushed farther into the ear canal unbeknownst to you. This, unfortunately, can cause earwax impaction and temporary hearing loss. If the person suffering from damage tries to fix it themselves, additional damage can take place.
Many products on the market have the goal of keeping earwax in check, but these same products aren’t always as effective as they seem. Liquid is dripped into the ear with the purpose of loosening the wax, allowing the user to encourage the wax to flow out when the head is tilted. The composition of individuals’ earwax differs from one individual to the next, and so do the shapes of ear canals, which contribute to the drops’ ineffectiveness.
When you think about the most dangerous way to remove earwax, candling is pretty high on the list. This is because the candles, constructed of a fabric that is coated in wax with a long wick, are intended to use heat from the flame to create a vacuum in the ear. This is supposed to pull earwax from the ear but these products often times fail to produce the required vacuum. The result is the user can suffer from burns from the wax or the flame can light clothes or hair on fire.
Proper Ear Care by a Professional
The best way to have your ears cleaned? See a professional audiologist. You’ll not only get a thorough cleaning, but it will be done in the safest manner possible. These individuals are trained in the use of many tools in conjunction with experience to rid the ears from ear wax and impacted ear wax. They are also trained to perform examinations of your eardrum to determine if there has been any damage caused by the presence of earwax. Take this time to schedule yourself a future appointment to ensure the best in ongoing ear care. For these many reasons, always leave the cleaning of your ears to a professional.