How Do I Clean My Ears?
When it comes to your ears, many worry they need to clean them daily or at the very least weekly. This is a common misconception and bad marketing by some companies. Your ears, simply put, do not need to be cleaned because your ears maintain themselves. Yes, you read that correctly, your ears clean themselves.
How you may ask?
Your ears produce wax or cerumen and this wax is produced at the base of your ear canal to move up and out of your ear, taking with it any dirt and debris that gets caught in your ears. Despite knowing this, many people still choose to clean their ears, particularly with cotton swabs, which is a big no-no! But in reality, they may be causing more harm than good. So how can you safely clean your ears? Let’s go over a few tips.
- See your hearing specialist. When it comes to your ears, see your hearing health professional. They will be able to look into your ears and determine if there is an excess build-up of wax or another problem that may exist. If your ears are impacted with wax, which can sometimes happen, they will be able to safely clean out your ears in office.
- Nothing smaller than your elbow. The best rule of thumb to live by when it comes to cleaning your ears is to never stick anything into your ear canal that is smaller than your elbow. Remember, earwax is there to help keep your ears clean, so we don’t want to remove the healthy wax our body’s produce. If you want to help out you may simply, after you shower, wipe away any dirt or debris or wax that has made its way out of your ear canal as is sitting at the opening by wiping it away with your towel wrapped around your finger.
- Over-the-counter treatments. There are many over-the-counter ear cleaners on the market. However, do not attempt to use one of them unless you have consulted with your hearing health professional. Most people do not need to use over-the-counter ear cleaners. Some, however, may need to depending on their lifestyle and body.
- Cleaning methods to avoid. When it comes to cleaning your ears there are a few things that you should avoid. You should avoid using cotton swabs as they can push the wax and foreign bodies down further into your ear canal causing a blockage, or if not careful, you could puncture your eardrum. You should avoid the ear candling cleaning method because it can also cause serious damage to your ear canal or eardrum and does not actually clean your ears.
Remember, if you have any questions regarding your ear maintenance or cleaning methods, don’t hesitate to contact your hearing care provider to ensure you’re following the healthiest protocol possible!