or call us at: (832) 699-9265
Despite what you might have heard, earwax is completely normal and doesn’t mean you’re not practicing good hygiene. In fact, a normal level of earwax means the opposite and is a sign that your ears are in good health. As a general rule, you should avoid cleaning your ears at home unless necessary, as they are primarily self-cleaning. When cleaning your ears at home, it’s critical that you do so carefully to avoid damage and build-up. It’s also important to schedule regular appointments with a doctor who can assess your ears and address any concerns you have.
Read on to learn more about removing earwax and avoiding potentially dangerous build-up.
Table of Contents
Fortunately, our ears are pretty good at taking care of themselves. Wax — also called “cerumen” — is a normal part of your bodily functions, and it is an integral part of your ear’s performance. Earwax creates a moist, sticky environment inside your ear, which traps bacteria and debris before it enters your canal and travels to your inner ear. Some people produce more earwax than others, which can result from anything from your environment and diet to your age and ethnicity. Excess earwax is usually nothing to worry about, but should other symptoms arise, you might be dealing with build-up. Earwax build-up is called “ceruminosis” and can cause lasting ear damage if left untreated.
If you suspect wax build-up or have any concerns over your ear health, contact a professional for prompt, safe wax removal.
Due to their self-cleaning nature, you don’t need to clean the inside of your ears regularly. When it’s time for wax removal, schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional to help. For the outside of your ears, including the lobes and external folds, clean them as often as you wash your face or hair to keep them free of dirt.
Although it’s a rare occurrence, too much earwax can cause painful, damaging ear blockage and infection. Signs of compacted earwax include dry, flaky or hard pieces of wax near your ear canal. Wax build-up could even stimulate your nerves, leaving behind an irritating cough, and could result in hearing loss in extreme cases. Should you notice a change in your natural wax production, it’s time to schedule an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist.
Here are a few more reasons why it might be time to schedule a professional ear cleaning:
The safest and most effective method of ear cleansing requires an experienced professional. An ear, nose and throat doctor will assess and clean your ears with specialized tools and have a better sightline into your ear canal. They’re also trained to recognize symptoms of more serious concerns.
That said, occasional at-home cleaning is usually all right as long as you do not put anything inside your ear canal. Instead, concentrate your cleaning efforts on the external parts of your ear and follow these steps:
Many drugstores and supermarkets sell complete earwax removal kits. Should you decide to use this method, contact your doctor for a recommendation, as some kits can cause more damage than good.
Now that you know how to handle earwax removal, here are some tips for maintaining healthy, clean ears:
Earwax is a normal and healthy bodily function that keeps you safe from invasive bacteria and debris. However, wax can build-up over time, which may result in painful compaction or dangerous side-effects. To keep your ears performing at their best, avoid at-home cleaning and seek professional help for any earwax-related concerns.