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Impacted earwax is a common problem many people will have to face sometime in their lives. And when it happens, the best way to solve this issue is by going to an audiologist to have your ears professionally cleaned.
There is still some confusion when it comes to ear wax removal, and most of them can be dangerous to your ears’ health. By debunking these myths, we hope to provide clarity and promote proper care for your ears. Here are some of the most common wax removal misconceptions people believe.
Myth #1: Everyday Ear Cleaning Is Necessary
Many of us tend to think that cleaning your ears every day is a requirement to be hygienic, like brushing your teeth. However, that’s not the case, mainly because your ears are self-cleaning. Cerumen or earwax starts to form in the outer 2/3rd of the ear canal and slowly gets transported out of the canal whenever you chew or make facial expressions.
The thin layer of lubricating material your ear wax leaves behind traps the debris and dust that enter your ears. Cleaning your ears daily can do more harm than good, as it removes this protective material from the canal, paving the way for dirt and bacteria accumulation.
Myth #2: Use Cotton Swabs
Another misconception people believe in is the efficacy of cotton swabs in cleaning the ears. You might be tempted to pick one up and use it to clean your ear canals. However, our ear experts warn against this. Doing this method is more dangerous to your ears than you might think.
Inserting small and foreign objects can potentially push cerumen farther into the ear canal, compacting it against the canal walls rather than to the swab. This method can cause significant pain, an infection, or make your hearing worse. It may even cause your eardrum to rupture. Only use them on the outside of your ears. Alternatively, you can also wipe the area with a damp washcloth.
Myth #3: Ear Candling Is Effective in Removing Cerumen
Ear candling is an alternative method of removing ear wax. The idea is that the warmth from the candle’s flame causes suction that pulls ear wax out of the canal.
Proponents of this method claim that candling can help solve ear wax buildups, tinnitus, infections, and other ear-related issues. However, there is no scientific basis for the effectiveness of ear candling, and the flame or melted wax can burn the canal causing significant permanent damage.
Our office did a clinical study to determine the before and after effects of ear candling. As you can see the “wax” collected comes from the beeswax on the ear candle itself and not from the patient’s earwax. https://youtu.be/ZM8Tf_VP2yM
It’s best to contact a professional audiologist for proper cerumen or ear wax management. Contact us today at The Hearing Doctor and talk to one of our experts to learn more.