Earwax is a natural substance that your body produces to trap unwelcome dirt and dust. It has protective properties that prevent bacteria from reaching the inner ear and prevents the growth of certain bacteria and fungi that can lead to ear infections.
In most cases, earwax should be celebrated and appreciated!
But, when you have too much earwax or impacted earwax, then it can cause many challenges, including a temporary or a sudden hearing loss, a feeling of fullness in your ear, dizziness, headaches, balance issues, and ear pain.
That’s why it’s important to keep on top of your earwax, so you never have too little, or worse, too much.
In this article, we’ll help you determine what you should and should not do in order to keep your earwax at a safe level.
Here’s What NOT To Do
Never put foreign objects in your ears, such as earbuds or Q-tips…
Why Is Using Q-Tips Or Cotton Buds Dangerous?
First off, Q-tips have a dull or rounded edge, so, when you put a Q-tip into your ear, you’re effectively just pushing the wax deeper and deeper into the ear canal, which prevents the earwax from coming out naturally.
The second reason why Q-tips are dangerous is because of their potential to perforate your eardrum.
I had a patient not too long ago tell me that he was cleaning out his ears with Q-tips. His wife comes into the bathroom, opens the door, the door hits his elbow, and the Q-tip just went through his eardrum, causing a tear.
He said that was the worst pain of his life. So it’s not just blocking your ears up, you can cause much further damage perforating your eardrum and even cause a disarticulation in your middle ear bones.
Best stay away from Q-tips at all cost.
How Do I Unblock My Ear?
First, I would recommend that you try over-the-counter cleaning substances such as Debrox, as this works well for a lot of people. Or you can also use hydrogen peroxide, which is the cheaper option. Both are very common and easy to find, and you can do it at home.
If you’re still having trouble, then make an appointment with us or an ENT specialist; we can take a look in your ear to see what’s going on, and we can provide that cleaning for you as necessary.
Audiologists Have Special Ways Of Removing Earwax
There are three different ways that we would clean out earwax.
Irrigation – This is a popular way and works well with a lot of patients. We slowly add water to your ear until the blockage is loosened. Once that happens, the excess wax falls out easily.
Suction – Similar to a vacuum, I use a small instrument that pulls the blockage to the front part of the ear. This works great on earwax that is not impacted.
Curette – This is for stubborn earwax that needs a little bit more coaxing. A curette is a small, curved instrument that is like a tiny ice cream scoop. It has a loop on the end, so it’s not a dull edge, like a Q-tip, and what I can do is just scoop it out for you. This method works great if your earwax is impacted.
How To Get Your Earwax Cleaned Professionally
We are always ready to help our patients with any problems they may have. The best way to do that is to help with prevention.
Even if you suspect you don’t have a problem right now, it’s never a bad idea to have routine cleaning no different than you would with your teeth.
Don’t wait until there is a problem. Let us prevent it from happening at all.