The Dos and Don’ts of Earwax and Healthy Hearing

Healthy hearing starts with you. Many people seem to believe that earwax is a sign of uncleanliness. This is not correct. Earwax is actually what the body creates to clean and protect the ears. It is what keeps small matter from entering the ear canal.

Sometimes impacted cerumen (earwax) blocks the ear canal. When this happens, cleaning the earwax with a cotton swab (for example) will only push the earwax further in.

Here are a few Dos and Don’ts for cerumen impaction from the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation:

  • Don’t overclean your ears.
  • Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.
  • Don’t use ear candles.
  • Do seek medical evaluation if you have symptoms of hearing loss.
  • Do ask your provider about ways that you can treat your cerumen impaction at home.
  • Do seek medical attention with ear pain, drainage, or bleeding.

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