Did you know that ears are a self-cleaning system? Contrary to popular belief, you DO NOT need to clean your ears. While it is ok to wipe the outside of your ears the wax inside your ear canal should not be cleared out with cotton swabs or other methods. For one, earwax is healthy. It is a natural lubricant keeping our ears from becoming dry and itchy, it protects our ear from foreign objects like grains of sand and it has natural antifungal properties.
However, there are some individuals who over produce wax and need to have their ears professionally cleaned often. Sometimes individuals who wear hearing aids will develop impacted wax in their ear canals as well if it doesn’t have a chance to migrate out of the ear naturally during the night.
There are three main tools used for earwax removal:
- Curettes – stainless steel picks used to scoop out wax
- Water Irrigation – uses a syringe, special water spray bottle or water bulb to flush ear wax out of the ear canal
- Suction – uses air tube to suck up wax in ear canal
At Salus Hearing Centre we use curettes for foreign object removal and water irrigation to remove earwax from our patient’s ears. Your Audiologist may recommend using oil or other products to soften the earwax before your appointment.
A word of caution — NEVER, EVER, EVER use ear candling to remove earwax. It’s dangerous and it doesn’t work! Learn more here.