Ear wax is a self-cleaning agent. This means that it actually finds its way out of the ear even without your assistance. When your jaw moves (like when you eat or talk) , its motions push the ear wax out.
What this means is that most people will never need to clean their ears.
That said, ear wax doesn’t completely leave the ears in some people. This wax can then build up in the ears and affect the hearing (this is known as Impaction).
Symptoms of wax impaction include aches, ringing and impaired hearing in the affected ear.
Now, let’s talk about safe ways to clean the ears
(1) Allow your Doctor to do it. This is the safest method
(2) Use ear wax softeners. These can be bought at your local pharmacy and they usually come as solutions, which you put into your ear(s) for some time. After they have softened the wax, the wax will fall out on its own. Please make sure you follow the instructions on the medicine pack.
Also, do not use wax softeners if you have an existing ear problem.
(3) You can use a damp cloth to clean the outside of your ear.
Now, this is why using cotton buds or sharp objects to clean the inside of your ears is a BAD IDEA.
Apart from the potential danger of rupturing your ear drum and permanently damaging your hearing, these objects may succeed in removing some wax, but they end up pushing most of the wax deep into your ear canal. This leads to Impaction and will eventually send you to your Doctor.
Also, those of you that use sharp objects in your ears are cultists. You just don’t know it yet. 😒
Toluwani Binutu is a Medical Doctor based in the UK. With experience in a wide range of specialities, from Emergency medicine to Health insurance , he is passionate about wellness. He believes that the key to living your best life lies in your ability to stay healthy. For more health tips , you can check out his Instagram handle @tolubinutu
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