Everything You Need To Know About Earwax (But Are Afraid To Ask)

To the outsider, the ear is one of the most delicate and strange parts of the body. It is difficult to see what is happening inside the ear, so many people do not even realize how to take care of it.

Earwax is an even more profound mystery. Everybody has earwax, and yet most people are completely misinformed about what they should be doing about it. The truth? In most cases, you do not need to do anything at all.

What Does Earwax Do? 

Earwax is a naturally occurring substance that acts as a cleaning agent and lubricant inside the ear. In fact, earwax is necessary. If your ear does not have enough earwax, you might notice your ears becoming itchy and dry.

Should You Clean Your Ears?

The good news about earwax is that it moves, through your jaw movements, to the opening of the ear. Here, earwax tends to dry and flake. It falls out on its own. For this reason, you don't typically need to clean out the inside of your ear, especially with cotton swabs.

In fact, cotton swabs can be quite dangerous for your ears. Often, trying to clean with a cotton swab merely pushes wax deeper into the ear canal, past the area where it should usually be found.

In some cases, cleaning your ears may be necessary. You should talk to your doctor if you experience earaches, partial hearing loss, tinnitus, or strange discharge from your ears.

How Should You Clean Your Ears?

If you do need to wash your ears, you should do so with a wet cloth and only on the external parts of the ear.

You might experience blockage caused by ear wax if you have tried to soften the wax in your ears previously. Ear candles are just one example of the tools frequently used to clear ear wax in situations in which wax does not need to be removed.

Your doctor may recommend that you try mineral oil or baby oil to try clearing the blockage. Your doctor may also perform an irrigation of your ears safely. Doctors also use suction and other instruments to remove excessive ear wax manually.

Can You Prevent Earwax?

If you are somebody who often experiences frequent earwax, you should talk to your doctor. A routine cleaning by your medical professional may prevent a buildup that leads to impaction or even partial hearing loss.

Earwax is an essential product of your body, and there is typically no need to worry about it. OF course, you can always talk to your ear doctor or audiologist about any impact wax could be having on your hearing.