How do I clean my ears?

“Nothing smaller than your elbow in  your ear”  – it’s sound advice

 

I’ve heard horror stories of people using cotton buds, match sticks, toothpicks, car keys, hairpins, and paper clips to remove wax or scratch that itch. However, there is a real danger that by poking or inserting objects into your ear canal  you may push the wax deeper down into the ear canal or worse –  cause serious damage like puncture the eardrum.

What about ear candling?  According to most hearing health professionals – it’s actually ineffective and potentially dangerous. The wax residue that’s left in the cone is most likely a byproduct of the candle burning, not ear wax.  Studies have  shown that the candle can actually deposit more wax in the ear, the ash could coat the eardrum and cause infections, pain or hearing difficulty.  In worst cases, ear candles could burn or puncture the eardrum.

Earwax or cerumen is normal and natural.    It protects the skin of the ear canal, helps keep the ear clean and protects against bacteria. The ears are mostly self-cleaning,  so they don’t often need any cleaning.   If you need to clean around the outside of your ear, use a cotton swab, tissue or soft washcloth.

If excessive wax does build up causing  hearing problems or ear problems – seek the advice of  a health professional.

Your Pharmacist may recommend the use of ear wax softening drops or your GP may irrigate the canal.