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3 Ear-Cleaning Methods to Avoid

Hand to Ear

Ear cleaning isn’t something we have to worry about all too regularly. However, when the ears do suffer from a blockage, it’s important to seek quick action.

Booking an appointment to see a qualified audiologist is the best solution, particularly when you’re unsure about the damage. Nonetheless, there are situations in which it is possible to take matters into your own hands. Just make sure that you avoid each of these methods below because they could make things infinitely worse.

Cotton swabs

For generations, millions of people have used cotton swabs as the tool of choice for removing earwax. And for generations, those users have been putting themselves at risk of pain, infection and even worse blockages.  

A cotton swab may collect a small amount of wax, which can make it seem like it has been a good idea. However, the thickness of the tool means that you are essentially pushing the majority of earwax further into the canal. This can create an even bigger blockage, leading to ever worse hearing losses. This will impact people with hearing aids as well as those without.

In addition to cotton swabs, pointed objects and other materials should be kept away. Aside from pushing the wax further down, against the ear’s natural reactions, you could cut or harm the ear.

Ear candling

Candling is a relatively common tradition and many people swear by its results. In truth, though, it creates more of a placebo effect rather than actively clear the ear of wax. The studies by scientists and audiologists have shown that the method has little to no impact.  

The idea is to place a plate of water and a candle over the ear to suck the earwax out. When a candle is opened at the end of the process, it often appears as though there is earwax inside. In fact, it is nothing more than the candle residue. As for the temporary sensation of having cleaner ears, that’s due to the heat. However, once it dies down, things will return to the way they were.

Candling isn’t just ineffective; it can be highly dangerous too. It can push earwax further into the ear while there is the potential of candle wax falling into the ear too.  

Syringing at home

When you visit an audiologist, it’s fairly likely that syringing and irrigation will be utilized as an effective treatment. While the experts have the best products, it is possible for patients to complete this method at home. It can work, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

A perforated eardrum, for example, could put you at further risk should you use syringing. An audiologist will be able to investigate the ear properly to reach the best decision regarding the next steps. Even if syringing is the right route to take, an expert will do it in the most suitable manner, using the right solutions and at the right pressure.

Loosening earwax with over the counter drops is perfectly fine. When it comes to syringing, though, avoid the DIY approach in favor of an expert.