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Hearing loss may be difficult to accept and many people do not know where to begin. Our team of ENT physicians and audiologists at Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists of Wisconsin will work close with you to determine what your hearing needs are.

Our mission is to improve the lives of people with hearing loss through better hearing. Our educated, experienced audiology staff is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality of hearing care in a personalized, caring environment.

3 Ear-Cleaning Methods to Avoid

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Hand to Ear

People clean their ears relatively often, but did you know that it’s not actually necessary to clean your ears at all? Most people rely on things such as q-tips, but hearing care providers are well against using these to clean your ears. Some people prefer to use picks, and others might even use their fingers as a way to scrape out the earwax. These are all terrible methods, and in this article, we’re going to show you three of the most harmful ways to clean your ears and how to avoid them.

Q-tips

Q-tips are often seen as the go-to method of cleaning your ears. However, they’re actually doing you more harm than they are good. This is because q-tips are often inserted into the ear and their large size means that they actually end up pushing the earwax in your ear deeper down the canal. This ultimately means that the earwax will build up and become harder to remove in the future. Eventually, this will lead to impacted earwax that must be removed by a professional. Avoid using q-tips for cleaning your ears at all costs.

Ear picks

Another popular method of cleaning your ears is to use ear picks. These are small instruments that are also known as ear scoops or spoons. They’re often inserted into the ear canal and used to scrape out earwax. While this method doesn’t push the earwax together to form a bigger problem, it does introduce another potential issue. Most people don’t understand that their ears are incredibly delicate. As a result, trying to scrape out anything from your ear can be incredibly dangerous and it could damage your inner ear. Another issue is that these picks can easily pick up bacteria if they’re not cleaned correctly, and insert it into your ear could be very dangerous. In short, avoid putting anything into your ear, especially small metal objects!

Ear drops

Ear drops are popular for those that don’t like to physically put anything into their ears. However, ear drops work a lot differently because they don’t just simply “remove” the wax. Instead, ear drops often break down the wax on contact, making it smaller and softer so that it can fall out naturally. However, the use of ear drops can cause issues such as infection (especially if there is bacteria on the applicator) and it could potentially add excess moisture to your ear canal, making it more likely to suffer an infection.

The best solution is to visit your local audiologist and ask them to help you clean your ears professionally. Not only do you get a great service that will clean out your ears thoroughly, but it’s far safer than the alternatives. If you absolutely have to clean your ears at home, then simply wipe them with a damp cloth. Don’t insert anything into the ear canal and be gentle with your ear–it’s a delicate structure that can easily be damaged if you’re not careful!


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