Is it safe and easy to remove your own ear wax?
Scenario: You wake up in the morning and your ears are feeling a little plugged. You wiggle your jaw, and you can feel it in there, squeaking and shifting around. Awww…it’s ear wax! Gross!
Okay, It’s not actually “gross”. Ear wax is completely natural and it’s the body’s way of protecting you. That being said, feeling plugged up and having excessive build-up should really be dealt with. Rest assured, there is solution!
Scenario continued: You get up, wash your face, brush your teeth, and then you reach for that Q-tip. A couple of swipes on either side and you’re good to go. Right?
Not right – put that q-tip down!
One of the cardinal rules of healthy hearing care is that you should never, EVER stick a foreign object in your ear! It’s common to try to clean out what may seem like excessive ear wax with items such as cotton swabs, bobby pins or pen caps (we’ve seen it all folks!). Even with the soft end of a cotton swab, you’d be putting yourself at serious risk of giving yourself a perforated eardrum (which, while possibly resolvable through surgery, is extremely painful and will cause a temporary hearing loss).
You should never, EVER stick a foreign object in your ear.
It’s also important to keep in mind that ear wax is actually there for a reason. It exists as a coating to protect the skin inside your ear from water and harmful bacteria. Yes, it sometimes feels a little uncomfortable when it’s sitting at the end of your ear canal, but even if you’re careful with a cotton swab, you’re still not doing yourself any favours by pushing your ear wax back into your ear. The ear canal cleans itself very effectively, and the ear wax that you push out through activities like chewing and yawning will generally dry up and flake off by itself.
Earwax exists as a coating to protect the skin inside your ear from water and harmful bacteria.
Of course, there is the possibility that you do have too much ear wax. As people age, ear wax will sometimes begin to build up, which can actually make it more difficult to hear. Believe it or not, your hearing loss may simply be a symptom of too much ear wax! Rest assured, the professionals at Hear for Life will be able to assess whether the cause of your hearing loss is due to an ear wax build up with an ear wax check followed by a quick hearing screening. Plus, at Hear for Life, a number of our professionals are also certified in cerumen management (cerumen is the clinical term for ear wax), and they will be able to safely remove your earwax should it prove to be excessive or refer you to your family physician to do so.
If you’re having trouble hearing, it may just be ear wax.
Remember, when you’re dealing with your health, hearing or otherwise, it’s always best to consult a professional.