Is Ear Cleaning Necessary?

Woman with Hand to Ear

Ear cleaning is a grooming habit that many people choose to follow. However, there are many individuals who do not experience any issues with their ears, so they leave them alone for the most part. While most people do not want their ears to be dirty, it can be tricky to tell if ear cleaning is a good or a bad idea. Here is some insight into this dilemma.

Benefits of ear cleaning

The benefits of ear cleaning are that it can help you remove wax from the outer parts of your ear, and it can remove other debris such as dirt or dust. This can help overall ear health. After all you do not want your ears to be dirty or dusty! Earwax is designed to help keep your ears safe from infections, and earwax is also supposed to push out of the inner ear canal naturally, by itself. However, this does not always happen.

So, ear cleaning can be beneficial – if it is done right. The right way to clean your ears is to gently dab the outer parts of your ear with a dry or damp cloth. If you need to get wax out of the ear canal, then you can see an audiologist who can use an ear pic to remove it. Also, you can try using earwax softeners such as saline or mineral oil. It's crucial to avoid sticking anything into your ear canal – even cotton swabs – because this can cause deeper impaction or perforate the eardrum.

Hazards of ear cleaning

The hazards of ear cleaning are that if it is done incorrectly, it can cause perforations, burns or even problems with your ear drums. There are a number of ear cleaning methods that do not work well and are potentially dangerous to your ear health. For example, ear candling, cotton swabs and paper clips should all be avoided.

This is because ear candling can burn your ears with wax, cotton swabs push the wax deeper into your ear and paper clips can scratch your ear canal. All of these scenarios are very uncomfortable and are best avoided.

If you’re uncertain whether or not you should be cleaning your ears, or if you’re experiencing pain, itching or hearing loss, schedule an appointment to talk to an audiologist. The audiologist will be able to evaluate your ear health and recommend any treatment plans to preserve your auditory system!