Experts explain what to use to get rid of earwax and when it is okay to just leave the earwax alone. Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know about properly cleaning your ears!
1. Ears are really low-maintenance
Earwax decreases ear infections and keeps the skin in your ear canal clean.
“As wax is naturally pushed out, it takes anything trapped in the ear canal, like dirt and dust, with it,” explains Melynda Barnes, MD, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon with ENT and Allergy Associates in New York City.
Use a washcloth while you’re in the shower to wipe off any excess wax. There’s no need to clean the inside of your ears unless you’re suffering from wax blockage.
2. Drops can work
If your ears feel like they’re full of waxy buildup and the sounds are muffled, try this safe home remedy that will clear your blockage.
“Over-the-counter wax-softening drops or saline solutions are generally good at removing the wax. Studies looking at the two types of drops show that both can be quite effective,” says Seth Schwartz, MD, medical director of the Listen for Life Center at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle.
You can also use 1-2 drops of mineral oil every night for 2 weeks. If you’re not getting better, we suggest you visit the doctor.
3. Stay away from candles
Avoid ear candling. This technique involves lighting one end of a hollow candle to create suction to remove the wax.
“Studies show this does not work at all,”says Schwartz.
Schwartz explains that the “wax” people see coming out is not earwax, but paraffin from the candle. If you have bad blockage, don’t try to clean it with candles, see your doctor instead.
4. The right way to clean your ears
There are people that use waterpiks to clean their ears, but that can cause ear trauma. Irrigation products designed for ears can be safe to use just look for those with low pressure and safety tip at the end. Another thing you can try is fill a syringe with warm water and flush out your ears.