Earwax removal does not involve inserting q-tips into the ear

That waxy brown substance in your ear can be annoying, but it plays a key role in your ear’s health. However, too much of it can cause hearing difficulties, and you might be tempted to remove it. Earwax removal requires a delicate touch and a few things to keep in mind to prevent injury.

Why do our ears produce earwax?

Earwax, or cerumen, is medically useful despite its appearance. It allows your ears to “self-clean” and contains antibacterial properties that can help against infections. In addition, its waxy composition helps to moisturize the ear canal and become a barrier to protect the eardrum.

How do I remove excessive earwax safely?

With that said, too much earwax can cause infection, earaches, and hearing loss. When you’re attempting to remove your earwax:

Do: Clean the outside of your ears

The outside of your ears might have some excessive earwax, so the easiest remedy without having to enter the ear canal is to gently wash your ears with a washcloth.

Don’t: Use a Q-tip

Putting anything into your ear canal runs the risk of pushing earwax further down at best and additional damage at worst. Q-tips are designed to clean the outside of the year and using it for earwax removal could lead to eardrum puncture.

Dr. Nicholas Stowell, a CEENTA otolaryngologist from our Concord office, sums it up succinctly, "Don't put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.”

Do: Use approved earwax removal liquids

Some over-the-counter products can be used to loosen up earwax and help with removal, such as Debrox. Be careful with "home" remedies as the ear canal skin is sensitive and can be easily irritated. This, combined with tilting your head to allow gravity to assist, can be helpful.

Don’t: Try ear candling

One method growing in popularity is ear candling, which involves inserting a hollow candle made of fabric and wax into your ear canal and lighting the end to “suction” the earwax out. This method has been criticized for being ineffective along with increasing your risk for puncture injury and burns.

Do: Trust your earwax removal with CEENTA

If excessive earwax is limiting your hearing and home removal remedies aren’t working, it’s time to turn your ears to CEENTA. Our otolaryngologists understand the intricate layout of your ears and can help remove earwax in a safe, reliable method. Schedule your next ear appointment with Dr. Stowell at our Concord location for better hearing and health. 

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.

 


You may also be interested in

Student listening with earbuds that may cause ear pain
Are your earbuds causing ear pain?

Do your ears hurt when you wear earbuds? Here are some common causes and what you can do to solve them. 

Read More
Race car that creates noise that can be blocked with ear plugs
Going to a race? Plug your ears and enjoy

Racing might be fun to watch in person, but how can you make it more enjoyable for your ears?

Read More
5 More Celebrities with Hearing Loss

Here are five more athletes, actors, and musicians who have had hearing loss and hearing aids.

Read More
 




Leave a Comment

 
 


 


Back to News
This website is optimized for more recent web browsers. Please consider these upgrade options: IE10+(IE10+, Chrome Chrome, Firefox Firefox.
 Schedule An Appointment