No one likes earwax but it’s necessary to the health of your ear canal. It acts as a protective agent against harmful debris that could get into your ears. But it can build up over time, causing discomfort and some amount of hearing loss. You are probably guilty of trying to remove it on your own, whether with a pinky or some tissue, right? Most people do, but they’re unaware they are posing a great risk to their ears when they do it. You could further impact the wax and even incur hearing loss, so to avoid damage to the inner ear, let a professional clean your ears for you. Here are three ways in which you could be harming your ears through cleaning, even though you may have the best of intentions.

Ear Candling

This is a dangerous method of removing earwax, and one that can light your clothing or hair on fire if not done correctly. Even then, it’s not very effective and only serves to pose a safety risk.  When you place the long hollow candle into your ear, you’re attempting to creation a vacuum that sucks out the accumulated earwax. Lighting the long wick creates heat which melts the wax and encourages it to come out, but this is the ideal situation. It often doesn’t work as intended due to not enough vacuum being created, leaving you with the risk of burns.

Cotton Swabs

Surely a popular method of getting wax out of your ear, cotton swabs are marketed as a safe way to achieve this, but it’s actually dangerous. When you use a cotton swab, you can push wax deeper into the ear canal than intended, making for impaction and hearing loss risks. You may think you’re doing a good job of cleaning because you see wax on the cotton when you pull it out. This is just the superficial wax. In addition to causing damage, you’re also contributing to future discomfort, especially when you try to fix the situation on your own.

Ear Drops

Made available in any drug store, you may assume ear drops are safe and effective but it’s simply not true. This ear drop method, performed at home, calls for a drop of liquid to be placed into your ear, where it loosens the ear wax, then drains out. However, due to differences in individuals’ earwax composition and the variances in ear canal shapes, these ear drops don’t always work as promised.

Seek a Professional for Ear Care

Why risk hearing loss and punctured ear drums by using home remedies? Seek out the professional help of an audiologist, who is trained in the art of earwax removal via the use of all the right tools. You’ll get an exam of your eardrum to deem whether it is damaged, plus you can schedule future appointment to ensure optimal ear health and care.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.