The Do’s and Don’ts for Managing Earwax

Earwax, that yellowish-brown goo, might inspire an “Ick!” or two, but managing it the right way can make a difference in your hearing health.

Earwax not only helps keep the ear canal clean but prevents dirt and other debris from reaching and potentially damaging the eardrum.

Normally you do not need to remove earwax; your ears will naturally handle it by pushing out the excess. When excess buildup gets to the point of causing pain or
symptoms like hearing loss, it’s time to clean it out:

DO:

use a warm soft cloth — after washing or showering — to remove normal amounts of earwax at the outer ear, if needed.

DO:

gently soften the earwax with drops of warmed olive oil, almond oil, water, or a commercial solution to remove larger amounts of earwax or an earwax plug.

DON’T:

use ear candles, which may cause serious injury and have not been proven effective in scientific studies.

DON’T:

stick cotton swabs or other objectsin the ear; they can cause injury and push waxfarther into the ear canal.

Sometimes earwax buildup requires the attention of a professional who can examine your ears, determine the nature of the problem, and customize a treatment.


If you’re experiencing problems such as persistent ear pain, hearing loss, blockage of the ear canal, or potential perforation of the eardrum, contact us for an evaluation


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