Ear wax build up is natural and normal, but too much wax can cause hearing problems. Also called cerumen, ear wax is your body’s way of keeping dirt, bacteria, and other kinds of debris from harming the inner workings of your auditory system. When it builds up enough to make your ears feel stuffed-up, it’s called impaction. It will start with a mild aching in the affected ear, and it could eventually lead to dizziness, impaired hearing, and tinnitus. If you experience any of these symptoms, cleaning your ears may solve your hearing problems. Here’s how to do it safely.
A Guide to Preventing Hearing Problems
Safe & Effective Ear Cleaning Methods
Using a warm, damp cloth is often an effective way to clean ears. Try to wipe without pushing the wax backward into the ear canal. If that doesn’t seem to work, try using an earwax softener. These over-the-counter eardrops are found in nearly every drugstore. Different brands will be made from various ingredients, but earwax softener is usually made from mineral oil, baby oil, and peroxide. Follow the instructions on the package for proper usage. A third method is to irrigate the ear using a syringe.
What Not to do
Many people like to use cotton swabs and other small objects to clean wax from the ear canal, but this is both dangerous and ineffective. Inserting an object into the ear canal can push the wax deeper into the ear and make it difficult to remove. You also run the risk of puncturing the ear drum or causing other kinds of injuries. Ear candles are another popular choice that is more dangerous than effective. Making mistakes could lead to a further hearing loss.
If you’ve tried cleaning your ears and had no success, perhaps a visit to your local ear doctor is the best course to take. The safest way to address hearing problems associated with a buildup of ear wax is to talk to your doctor. If you live in the area of Waterford, Connecticut, call County and Balance at (203) 245-1950 to schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist. You can also learn more about their services on their website.