If you’ve ever asked how to safely remove ear wax, you’re not alone. Clogged ears can affect how well you hear. Ear wax, also called cerumen, protects the ears but too much of it can be problematic. If you wear a hearing aid or an earmold for a cochlear implant, earwax can actually damage your hearing device.
Too much earwax can actually worsen existing hearing loss. If you wear hearing aids, your clogged ears may cause them to fit less well than desired. In this post, we explore the often discussed topic of how to safely remove earwax.
By the way, never use tweezers, cotton swabs, q-tips, or anything else to remove earwax. If earwax is actually oozing from the ear canal, call North Shore Hearing P.C. now. Let’s take a closer look at a few tips and best practices for safely removing ear wax.
How Do I Safely Remove Ear Wax?
Added to the above-mentioned issues, ear wax may be unsightly and annoying. Too much of it results in clogged ears that may result in permanent hearing loss. Regardless of what you’ve heard or how your mother cleaned your ears years ago, most common ear cleaning methods can be harmful.
Earwax plays an important role in your body. It’s made by glands in your ear canal to keep the ears clean and properly functioning. Ear wax is intended to moisturize your ears. The slightly acidic smell is supposed to keep bugs from entering your ears: ear wax also creates a natural barrier to keep unwanted particles out. Somewhat miraculously, earwax contains antimicrobial peptides to keep infections away from your ears, nose, and throat.
Too much ear wax turns all of these benefits into potential problems. Ear wax may harden over time, which is called impacted earwax. Problems with impacted ear wax can cause earaches, infections, and even hearing loss.
Never use cotton swabs in your ears. They’re actually rough on your ears and push the earwax more deeply into the ear canal. This action may damage the eardrum or worsen already impacted earwax.
If you have some earwax that’s bothersome, doctors recommend waiting it out. Avoid the urge to put anything in your ear canal. Earwax is usually naturally expelled most of the time so, to play it safe, use an irrigation kit or ear drops to rid your ears of the excess wax.
To safely remove ear wax at home, use the following steps:
- Start with warm water
- Add over-the-counter earwax softener to clean the ears
- Use a syringe to draw away excess fluids
- Gently perform safe earwax removal methods.
Note that you shouldn’t irritate the ears if you have an ongoing ear infection or perforated eardrum. And, just in case you missed the admonition above, never, ever use cotton swabs, q-tips, or folk remedies like candling!
Will Wearing Hearing Aids Cause My Ears to Make More Ear Wax?
If you wear hearing aids, or you’re being fitted for them, congratulations! Hearing aids add to your quality of life. Now that you’ve learned more about how to safely remove ear wax, you may ask, “Is there a connection between earwax buildup and my hearing aids?”
The answer is YES. Your hearing aids will tend to block the ear wax your body wants to expel. They will sometimes stimulate the glands in your ear canal; and yes, more ear wax results.
Many people tell us their ears create just a little more earwax than before they started wearing hearing aids. Earwax is the body’s reaction to the presence of a foreign body in the ear.
Since hearing aids are helpful devices, you want to prevent any potential complications with ear wax. Many doctors recommend wiping your hearing aids with a soft and dry cloth after removing them. Use the brush and pick in your hearing aid cleaning kit to remove any excess wax on the hearing aids.
Earwax buildup on your hearing aids is something you learn to manage. The delicate part of protecting your hearing aids and your hearing from earwax is to know when it’s too much. Frequent earaches and consistently soiled hearing aids are the prompts to have your ears cleaned by our professional team. When the problem gets out of hand, it’s normal—and it’s time to make an appointment with North Shore Hearing P.C.
When Is the Right Time to Have My Ears Cleaned by a Professional?
Most of the time, you’ll be amazed at how effectively and efficiently your ears clean themselves. If you notice one or more of the symptoms below, contact North Shore Hearing P.C. right away to schedule a professional ear cleaning.
Clogged ears or blocked ears are probably the result of ear wax buildup. Your ears may have increased the production of ear wax if you’ve recently starting to wear hearing aids. There may be other reasons so when in doubt, our team at North Shore will use safe ear wax removal methods to resolve the problem.
Dark Ear Wax
What color is the ear wax? If it’s darker than the unusual yellow color of ear wax — such as brown — schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Debris of some kind may be stimulating the production of ear wax.
Is Ear Pain Present
Pain in your ear may occur in an ear infection, but it can also be a symptom of ear wax overproduction. This requires professional cleaning.
Are you experiencing any hearing loss? You may be at the early stages of hearing loss. Our experienced North Shore Hearing team will check your hearing and eliminate any excessive ear wax. Because too much ear wax may clog your ears, it’s more challenging to hear. This condition is known as conductive hearing loss.
Contact North Shore Hearing P.C.
Safe earwax removal methods aren’t a do-it-yourself task. North Shore Hearing P.C. are your hearing experts. We’re here to help with anything that has to do with your ears. Call today to schedule a complimentary hearing consultation.