Ear cleaning sounds like a simple act of self-care, yet confusion and misconceptions about when to clean, if you need to get rid of earwax, and how to do it abound. Gary A. Coté, MA, CCC-A, and the team at South Bay Hearing and Balance answer all your questions and safely perform ear cleanings. They also treat ear problems that develop when people try to eliminate their earwax and end up damaging their eardrum. If you need ear cleaning, call the office in Chula Vista, California, or schedule an appointment online today.
Though it’s important to take care of your ears, you only need to routinely clean the outer part of your ear. The top tips for safe ear cleaning include:
When cleaning your outer ear, simply use a washcloth, which won’t hurt your ear and is too large to get into the ear canal.
You don’t need to worry about cleaning away earwax unless it builds-up in your ear canal. Then you can try using wax removal drops and water to rinse out your ear.
Avoid ear candles and any type of hard object, even if it has a small piece of cotton on the tip. You can buy a variety of earwax removal tools, including stainless steel curettes, picks, and loops.
But these tools pose the same threat as cotton swabs. Instead of clearing out the wax, they can easily damage your eardrum or push the earwax deeper into the ear canal.
The first thing to know about earwax is that it’s not just debris to clean out. It’s essential for healthy ears. It blocks dust from getting inside your ear. Earwax also cleans your ear by trapping debris and bacteria and carrying it out of your ear.
Earwax gradually moves through your ear canal toward the opening, where it dries up and falls out. That means there’s no reason to clean the wax out on a regular basis.
You do need to deal with earwax if an excessive amount builds-up, a condition called impacted earwax. When that happens, however, you should get help from the team at South Bay Hearing and Balance instead of dealing with it on your own.
Your provider at South Bay Hearing and Balance has specialized tools for cleaning your ears. They may use a technique similar to home-based ear cleaning. They apply ear drops to break up the wax, followed by irrigation to flush out the pieces.
They also safely eliminate excess earwax using gentle suction, tiny instruments, and a microscope to get a magnified view of your ear canal.
If you wear hearing aids or you tend to accumulate excess earwax, you may need to schedule ear cleanings every 6-12 months to prevent problems.
If you need help getting rid of earwax, call South Bay Hearing and Balance, or book an ear cleaning appointment online today.