Earwax is a substance called cerumen. It’s normal for your body to produce it, and it actually helps protect and lubricate your ears. If you didn’t have earwax, your ears would probably be itchy and dry. Earwax is like a filter for your ears, keeping out harmful things like dirt and dust, and trapping them so they don’t go deep inside. If it does build up inside your ear canal, especially if it clogs the canal, then you should know how to self clean your ears to prevent your hearing from being impaired.
Are Ears Self Cleaning?
Earwax has antibacterial properties so it actually prevents dirt, dust and bacteria from entering your ears. Additionally, earwax naturally works its way out of your ear canals, where it dries and falls out. In theory, your ears are self cleaning and you shouldn’t have to clean out your earwax, but inevitably sometimes the earwax gets stuck in the ear canal or it clogs it up completely so it needs to be cleaned out.
How To Self Clean Ears
You want to be careful when you clean your ears that you don’t touch your eardrums or they can be damaged or even punctured. This is one reason that doctors recommend not to use Q-TIps, or cotton swabs, to clean your ears. Aside from that, cotton swabs tend to push the wax deeper into your ear canals instead of removing it. If you use a digital otoscope with an ear spoon, like the ones made by ScopeAround, you have a good view of the ear canal through the camera and the goal is to use the ear spoon to gently scoop out the pieces of earwax.
What About Ear Wax Buildup Or A Blockage?
A digital otoscope with a camera gives you a good view of everything in the ear canal so that’s a great way to assess the condition of your ear canal. If you have a blockage it’s a good idea to use ear drops to soften the wax first, then you can use the earwax spoons to gently break up the blockage and scoop it out in pieces.
When To See A Doctor
It’s a good idea to see a doctor anytime that your ear has an impaction, or a blockage that isn’t responding well to ear drops and is impossible to remove with ear spoons. Also, if you suspect that you might have an ear infection - if there is discharge, redness, swelling, pain or other discomfort - then you should consult with a medical professional.
Use A Digital Otoscope To Clean Your Ears
Ears are self-cleaning, and earwax is natural and healthy to have in your ear canal, but if it builds up too much then it’s a good idea to know how to self clean ear wax. You can use an earwax softener to soften it and help it work its way out on its own. The best way to self clean your earwax is to use a digital otoscope to safely scrape out some of the excess earwax. You should not use a Q-Tip to clean your ears. Finally, if your ear canal becomes impacted you may have to visit your doctor to have your ear cleaned out, although this is rare.