Dos and Don'ts of Ear Cleaning
If you find your hearing becoming a little muffled, it could be because you need to clean your ears out. A buildup of wax can impair your hearing, and your body isn't always good at getting rid of it on its own. When you can feel that there's too much wax in your ear, it's tempting to reach for something to dig it out with. But the ears are delicate, and you need to be gentle with them. Cleaning your ears can help to keep wax at bay, but you have to do it in the right way.
Do be gentle
It's essential that you take a gentle approach to looking after your ears. Sticking things inside them and digging around could do some serious damage if you're not careful. Avoid sticking cotton buds into your ears, and use them to clean the outer part of your ear only. While washing out your ears with a jet of water might seem like a good idea, it could actually make the problem worse. It could mean that water ends up getting forced into your ear and it's even possible to burst your eardrum.
Don't clean too often
Frequent ear cleaning shouldn't be necessary, and it might be damaging to your ears. While you don't want too much wax building up, there should be some because it helps to protect your ears. They need oils and hydration to protect the delicate lining, and without them, you could be more likely to get an infection. Don't clean more than once or twice a month, unless a hearing specialist says otherwise.
Do soften wax
Softening the wax in your ears helps to prevent it building up and helps to remove it if there's too much. You can use baby oil, olive oil, a mineral oil, or a softening product. Just put a few drops of oil into your ear and lie on your side, with your ear facing up. Then sit up and wipe away the excess oil, before repeating it on the other side.
Don't try ear candling
When you're looking for a solution to an annoying problem, it's easy to get taken in by gimmicks. You might have seen ear candling as a recommended way to get rid of ear wax. Supposedly, when you put the candle in your ear, it creates a vacuum and sucks out the wax. People try to demonstrate that it works by cutting the candle open after and showing the "earwax" inside. However, this is just the normal contents of the candle. Ear candling doesn't work and can even be dangerous.
Do see a professional
If you're finding it hard to hear, feel any pain in your ear or can't seem to find a home remedy that works for you, schedule an appointment with a hearing professional. One of the things they might be able to do is use a syringe to remove wax from your ear. They can also help you if there are any other possible problems, such as an ear infection or hearing loss.