We all get earwax, which is great because it’s vital for good ear health. It stops bugs from moving down your ear canal, and it has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties that help prevent ear infections.
Why Do Some People Have More Earwax Than Others?
Ironically, the more you clean out necessary earwax, the more your ears will produce. Only some people naturally produce an excessive amount of ear wax, but not that many.
While you might feel that you have too much earwax, it could seem that way because the earwax has become impacted. Some of the reasons for this are:
- Using cotton swabs such as Q-Tips in your ears.
- Trying to irrigate your ears yourself using too much water pressure.
- Pushing foreign objects down your ear canal.
If you have ever heard the saying about not putting anything bigger than your elbow into your ear, it’s true. You can cause untold damage to your eardrum and your hearing by putting anything in there that doesn’t belong.
Should Earwax Always be Removed?
Earwax works its way out of the ear naturally as it produces more. Our opinion is that it’s best to leave earwax alone unless it’s causing discomfort or hearing problems – such as pain in the ear, sudden hearing loss, a feeling of pressure, or tinnitus.
When you notice any early signs of earwax buildup, it’s possible to soften it to help it work its way out. However, if it’s causing any of the problems mentioned above, it’s probably impacted and should be removed by a hearing professional.
Removing Ear Wax at Home
There are several ways to try to remove earwax at home. Feel free to call us about anything you’re considering so that we can let you know if we consider it safe or not.
Some of the safer methods include:
- Over-the-counter ear drops – to soften earwax
- Irrigation kits – a liquid solution with a dispenser and a collecting bowl
- Homemade ear drops – from olive or mineral oil
- Homemade irrigating solutions – saline or hydrogen peroxide solutions
Never put any drops, liquid, or oil in your ear if you have had recent ear surgery, eardrum damage, or ear infection. You could permanently damage your hearing by doing this.
Some dangerous methods we would never recommend are:
- Ear candling – no proven evidence of it working and a risk of burns
- Cotton swabs or Q-Tips
- Battery-operated swabbing tools – they can cause a severe impaction
If Your Earwax has Become Impacted
You’ll need to have your ears cleaned out professionally if the earwax has become packed together so tightly that no drops or home irrigation methods work well. We offer that service at Arnold Hearing Centre.
We use modern equipment that will remove all your earwax within minutes – using suction, and/or irrigation, and/or removal with a curette – and we’ll be able to have a look inside your ear at the same time to make sure it looks healthy.
If we don’t find any earwax, we’ll do a complimentary hearing test to see why your ear feels ‘off’.