Step away from the cotton swabs! The doctor – approved way to remove wax from your ears.

The ear canal contains specialized glands that are responsible for the production of cerumen, commonly known as ear wax. For some, ear wax accumulates at a much faster rate than others. This can lead to excessive build up that can affects one’s hearing and in some cases, cause pain.

Many people are quick to grab a cotton swab or Q-Tip to remove excess wax build up in their ears, however, this cleansing ritual is actually counter-productive and can potentially be dangerous. This method is not effective in that there is a good probability of pushing wax deeper into the ear canal causing more of a blockage or build up. Also, Inserting anything into the ear canal can be dangerous as the ear drum is very delicate and can easily be ruptured. Rupturing or puncturing an ear drum is extremely unpleasant causing pain, hearing loss and sometimes fluid leakage from the middle ear space.

So what is the best way to remove wax from your ears? The safest and most effective way is to wash the external ear with a cloth, but do not insert anything into the ear canal. During hair washing or showers, allow some warm water enter the ear to help break up or loosen any accumulated wax. For those who tend to have a heavier wax build up, a trip to a physician or an otolaryngologist may be necessary several times throughout the year. A physician will have the proper instruments needed to manually remove any impacted cerumen.

Our bodies produce cerumen as a means of protection for our ears. Ear wax will coat the ear canal to moisturize it, fight off infection, and to help keep dust, dirt and other debris from getting inside of the ear, therefore, having some wax build up in our ear canals is actually a good thing! If you are experiencing wax build up in your ears, contact your physician for removal rather than inserting a cotton swab or other object, as you are most likely causing more harm than good!