how often should you clean your ears

How Often Should You Clean Your Ears

Many people don’t realize that ear wax actually has a function. Earwax helps keep dust and debris out of your ear. When thinking about how often you should clean your ears it is important to keep in mind that if you are cleaning your ears too much, you will be left with little to no protection. 

Earwax also has antiseptic components that help prevent ear infections. The earwax that protects your ear can sometimes build up and result in hearing loss, tinnitus, or earaches. However, the ears are self-cleaning and you should only be going inside of your ear if you have a serious problem, and in that case, you want to see an audiologist. 

What you should keep in mind is how often you have your ears checked by a professional, and not how often you should be cleaning your ears. If you have good ear hygiene you should be cleaning the outer ear daily, but the inner ear is usually better to be left alone.

Some people are more prone to ear wax build-up and if you think you have an issue you should see an audiologist. However, if you feel like you just have too much wax in your ear, you need to make sure you are cleaning them out safely. 

How Often Should You Get Excess Ear Wax Cleaned Out 

Excessive wax buildup can have different signs. Finding earwax is not a sign of excessive earwax production. As we said, earwax is good and healthy. We don’t want to get rid of all earwax. 

If you are having serious issues as a result of earwax, that is when you need to get your ears cleaned.  If you notice any of these symptoms you may have a buildup of wax and you should see a professional about getting your ears cleaned:

  • muffled hearing 
  • wax on your pillow
  • discharge from your ear
  • a feeling of fullness in your ear
  • itchy ear 
  • feeling off-balance
  • tinnitus

If you are someone who experiences excessive earwax buildup you may need to see a hearing care professional at least once every six months to get an ear cleaning.

How to Clean Your Ears Safely 

Most people don’t realize that they shouldn’t be inserting anything into the ear canal. Many people are regularly sticking cotton swabs into their ears. This can cause damage to your inner ear. It can also push earwax down further into the ear. 

A washcloth can clean the outer ear and wipe away any excess ear wax. Baby oil can soften the earwax making it easier to wipe away. If you are doing this regularly then you won’t need to check for impacted wax very often. 

You can purchase an earwax removal kit that includes softening drops to put in your ears. You let the drops drain out after five minutes then use a syringe to gently flush the ear with water. This is a safe way to work some earwax out of your ear.

Do not use hydrogen peroxide, ear candles, or any other alternative earwax removal method. These are not worth the risk of damage to the ear canal.  

Your ears are very important and you don’t want to injure yourself. Getting your ears checked regularly will allow a professional to address excess earwax buildup and get you a professional ear cleaning

Hearing Aids and Earwax Buildup 

If you wear a hearing aid you may notice wax on your hearing aids. Hearing aid wearers may be prone to earwax buildup, so talking to a professional about how to reduce impacted earwax is important. Your doctor may recommend regular professional cleanings every six months to avoid damage to the ear. 

A buildup of earwax on the aid or earmold with a cochlear implant can cause a number of issues:

  • further hearing loss
  • cause a loose fit
  • block sound reducing the effects of the hearing aid
  • damage a hearing aid

A large number of hearing aids that need repair are due to earwax buildup. The acids in earwax can break down the hearing aid.

Having a foreign object in the ear will trigger more earwax to be made. The ear is self-cleaning but when you have a device in the ear, the wax doesn’t dry the same way it does in an open ear. Hearing aids need to be cleaned every day and left to dry through the night. 

There are a number of tools available to keep your hearing aids clean including a hearing aid cleaning brush and a wax pick to remove wax from nooks and holes. 

Take Care of Your Ear Health with Southwestern Hearing Centers

Your hearing health is very important. This determines how you interact with the world. Regularly getting your ears checked, gives you all the help and tools you need to hear the best that you can long term. 

Southwestern Hearing Centers can offer you regular cleaning as well as regular hearing checks. We can discuss your symptoms of earwax buildup and address all of your concerns with strategies to help control earwax in the future. 

A Southwestern Hearing healthcare professional has a lot of experience with the overproduction of earwax and can address any issue with earwax to prevent hearing loss or other conditions. Having a trusted hearing care provider gives your ears the best health for you to hear the world in.