Sound Advice

4 Dos and Don'ts of Ear Cleaning

Woman with Hand to Ear

Most people tend to reach for cotton swabs when they’re cleaning their ears. Some people even stuff their finger in and try to clear any blockages when they’re in the shower, but these are both ineffective and dangerous methods of cleaning your ears.

Your ear is a very delicate structure and it can suffer damage very quickly, which is why it’s important to understand the dos and don’ts of proper ear cleaning.

Do learn to clean your ears

Most people forget to clean their ears or they avoid doing it because they’re told that cotton swabs are a bad idea. However, cleaning your ears is actually straightforward. You don’t actually need to put anything deep into your ear and cleaning your ears should only involve the outside. Use a warm damp cloth in the shower and wipe around the ear, but don’t try and stuff anything inside the ear like a thing. Be as gentle as you can and focus on clearing out the wax that is on the outer edge of the ear canal instead.

Do understand when you should clean them

Your ears don’t need to be cleaned all the time. The only time you should consider cleaning your ears if you have an excess wax buildup around the outside of your ear. If you’re experiencing pain in your ear, then it’s worth booking an appointment with your audiologist to ensure that you don’t have an infected ear due to earwax.

Don’t stuff anything in your ear

Don’t use cotton swabs or your finger because it could push the earwax deeper into your ear. Don’t use a scraping tool because your inner ear is very delicate and it could damage the skin or even perforate or rupture an eardrum.

Don’t clean your ears too much

Earwax is designed to help protect our ear canal, so over-cleaning your ears could leave you exposed to bacteria, insects and water. It’s best to only clean your ears when absolutely necessary or if you’re in the shower and want to give them a little wipe down.

Your ears do not require much effort to keep clean. If you experience problems with earwax impactions, consult an audiologist to determine the best way to keep your ears debris-free. A professional ear cleaning might be necessary to get your ears back into working shape, but the audiologist will be able to recommend other tips to keep your ears healthy and clean.


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