The ear secretes oils from two different glands which mix together to produce earwax (or cerumen). It is healthy and normal to have some earwax. It cleans and protects your ears by collecting dirt, dust and other matter in the ear canal and moving them out of the ear. Jaw movement whether from chewing or talking, helps to push earwax to the ear opening where it can be washed off with the wipe of a cloth. This is a normal process, but sometimes this self-cleaning process fails resulting in a buildup of earwax. When cerumen builds up it can block the ear canal and can cause a temporary decrease in hearing and when on the eardrum it can cause ringing in the ear.
Often, when someone attempts to “clean” the ear canals, earwax is pushed on the eardrum or deep into the ear canal. We DO NOT recommend using cotton swabs, paper clips, keys, ear candles, or other items which can push the wax deeper in the canal or harm the ear canal. The American Academy of Otolaryngology recently published guidelines for cleaning your ear canals. Following these guidelines can help protect your ears:
· Don't overdo it when cleaning your ears. Over cleaning can irritate the ear canal and possibly cause an infection.
· Don't stick things in your ear. Cotton swabs, hair pins, toothpicks or other such objects can cause a cut in the ear canal, a hole in the eardrum, and/or dislocation of the hearing bones, causing problems including bleeding, hearing loss, dizziness and ringing.
· Never use "ear candles." The guidelines say there is no evidence that this alternative medicine practice can remove impacted earwax. And so-called candling might cause serious damage to the ear canal and eardrum.
First and foremost, check with your audiologist or physician on whether or not you should clean your ears. Also, seek medical attention if you have ear drainage, bleeding or pain. Call 440-205-8848 to schedule an ear inspection and cerumen removal.
Life sounds great! Enjoy every moment!
Jane Kukula, AuD & Ashley Spisak, AuD
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060