Just like an oven, your ears are self-cleaning. Really! With the help of earwax, your ears can clean themselves. Earwax forms on the outer one-third of your ear canal, naturally moving to the outer edge with jaw movements, such as chewing or talking. This movement cleans your ears.
Earwax is also believed to contain protective, antibacterial, and lubricating elements. Wax provides a barrier from debris for the eardrum. You might harm the wall of your ear canal or the eardrum by inserting ear-cleaning or wax-removal tools. And without the natural lubricants, your ears can feel dry and itchy.
To clean or not to clean your ears?
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF), your ears never need to be cleaned. It’s a misnomer that they need to be cleaned for hygiene purposes, they suggest. In fact, inserting stuff like cotton swabs or other devices into the ears can be dangerous. You can push earwax down and block the ear canal completely, cause impaction, and/or trauma.
But if you want to clean your ears from earwax buildup, you can use a softening agent once a week. Or, you can schedule with a doctor or hearing instrument specialist. However, if you have diabetes, a weakened immune system, tubes in your ears, or a hole in your ears, do not clean them yourself. Consult a physician.
There are signs revealing excessive buildup. You will experience pain, infection, decreased hearing, itching, and more. Excessive buildup causes impaction and includes a plugged sensation, pain, or fullness. You might also experience more coughing, odor, decreased hearing, ringing, or itching. Have an expert use a curette, suction, irrigation, or microscope for earwax removal.
Earwax on hearing aids
Hearing aids may increase your ears’ production of earwax because it can stimulate the glands in the ear canal and block the normal movement of wax from the ear canal to the outer one-third of the ear. Also, earwax can block the inner workings of the hearing aids, reducing performance. See your hearing instrument specialist for a proper cleaning of your hearing aids. Contact Pure Sound Hearing Aids for assistance.
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