Hearing Health Care

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Common FAQs About Ear Cleaning

Woman Touching Ears

Besides helping people recognize and treat the signs of hearing loss, ear cleanings are one of the most common treatments a hearing care provider will offer. We all produce earwax and some people produce more than most, necessitating a cleaning. Here, we’re going to clear up some commonly asked questions about cleaning.

How often do I need to clean my ears?

Our ears are, to some degree, self-cleaning. Earwax is actually part of the self-cleaning process, helping trap and eliminate dirt and debris. If you find a large amount of wax in your ears but it doesn’t cause any problems, you don’t need to do much for it except wiping away any that comes out during a warm shower. You only need to think about a deeper cleaning if the earwax is causing a blockage or any other issues.

What are the signs I need my ears cleaned?

Though you don’t need to perform any kind of routine maintenance on your ears, there are some cases where earwax builds up to a point that it becomes a blockage. Besides causing issues like temporary hearing loss, these kinds of blockages can cause problems including increasing the risk of an ear infection. If you have trouble hearing out of an ear, a sense of fullness in the ear, an ache or pain, or itchiness, it’s time to see your hearing care provider. They can provide your ear cleaning and, if you have frequent problems with earwax blockages, may prescribe an ear irrigation kit.

What’s the safest way to clean my ears?

A lot of people use unsafe methods to clean their ears. Using small objects like cotton swabs can be dangerous, often pushing wax deeper in, irritating and injuring the ear canal, and even potentially damaging the eardrum. Ear candling has become more common and is even more risky, frequently causing burns. The safest way is, without a doubt, visiting your hearing care provider. They have the equipment to use tools like a curette which can scoop out the wax while being able to get a closer look and ensure they’re doing it with the care that the task demands. Home ear irrigation kits can be safe to use, too, but the instructions must be followed very closely to avoid any unnecessary risks.

What if I wear a hearing aid?

If you use a hearing aid, you might need your ears cleaned somewhat more regularly. The device can catch earwax, making it harder for the substance to leave the ear naturally. What’s more, a buildup of earwax can damage your hearing aid by clogging up the different components. Don’t neglect to maintain your hearing aid by cleaning it daily. If you have any further trouble with your hearing aid and earwax, talk to your hearing care provider.

If you ever believe you need a cleaning or you have noticed something different about your earwax, such as an odor or discoloration, arrange an appointment with your hearing care provider. They can clear everything up, including your ears, in no time.