HOW SHOULD YOU CLEAN YOUR EARS?

ou may have heard from your audiologist or another professional that using cotton swabs to clean your ears can damage your ear drum. It’s true: injuries from the use of cotton swabs are common. Some of the problems that can occur include hurting delicate inner ear areas, puncturing the ear drum, and possibly even vertigo or deafness!

If you’re like most people, you may be wondering if cotton swabs are dangerous, what can be used to clean dirt, build-up, or wax from the ears?

Ear wax is normal.

Ear wax is actually a good thing. It’s a sign of healthy ear function. If you think about it, our ears are holes in our head that could potentially expose us to unwanted bacteria or dust. The ears make wax to trap these harmful elements and prevent them from going further into our heads.

Our ears produce ear wax as a defense mechanism, so ear wax is a critical way to keep us healthy and safe. Assuming your ears don’t overproduce wax, you may not need to clean them at all. Talking, chewing and other jaw movement normally helps ear wax to migrate down the ear canal and out of the ears.

Impaction

On rare occasion, someone will have an overproduction of ear wax. In this case, it is possible for the ear wax to accumulate and cause impaction. Impaction is just a buildup that can block one or more functions of the ear, one of which is a problem with hearing.

Impaction may have accompanying symptoms such as tinnitus (ringing in the ear), an earache, dizziness, odor coming from the ear, or a cough.

If you often have something in your ear, such as ear plugs, which may prevent the ear wax from escaping the ear, you may also experience impaction as a result. In other cases, an oddly-shaped ear canal could also have an effect on the migration of ear wax naturally.

What’s the best way to get rid of ear wax?

You can verify whether or not you have ear wax impaction with an examination by your doctor or audiologist. Once the condition of your ears is established, a course of action can be recommended.

Doctors can clean your ears in the office to remove impacted ear wax if necessary and can give you tips for the best ways to remove clean your ears at home.

Other ways to clean your ears that don’t use cotton swabs:

  • A Moist Wash Cloth Wipe ear with a warm washcloth to remove wax in your outer ear. This prevents pushing ear wax deep into the ear, which can happen with a cotton swab.
  • Try an Ear Wax Softener Drug stores often stock over-the-counter wax-softening ear drops. Ingredients in these drops may include peroxide, saline, mineral oil, glycerin, or baby oil.
  • Irrigation A syringe can be used irrigate ears with a saline solution. The syringe rinses the ear canal gently, and is often more effective if an ear wax softener is first used.

Some people still wish to use cotton swabs, so if this is you: use them to clean only the outer part of the ear canal. Avoid deep insertion and always use a gentle, circular motion .

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening. We can discuss hearing aid options with you and work with you to find one that fits your budget.

TWO LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU BETTER

San Mateo

88 N. San Mateo Drive
San Mateo, California, 94401

San Carlos

1008 Laurel Street
San Carlos, California, 94070

Phone: (650) 342-9449
Fax: (650) 342-4435
Email: info@calhearing.com

DID YOU KNOW HEARING AIDS COULD HELP PROTECT YOUR MIND?

Do you suffer from hearing loss? Have you been putting off the decision to get hearing aids? Or maybe you think they are unnecessary.

Hearing aids have been shown to halt the progression of hearing loss. Since hearing loss is almost always irreversible, it’s best to stop it at the earliest stage possible.

And now, a new long-term study has shown that wearing hearing aids can also stop cognitive decline that is related to hearing loss. It makes sense: if hearing aids prevent the progression of hearing loss, and hearing loss leads to cognitive decline, then it follows that using hearing aids can help to prevent cognitive decline!

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, compared cognitive decline in adults with hearing loss that did not use hearing aids and compared it to the cognitive decline of adults with hearing loss that do use hearing aids. There was also a control group: adults without measurable hearing loss.

The results were remarkable: there was no difference found in the rates of cognitive decline between people without hearing loss and those with hearing loss that used hearing aids.

In contrast, the adults with hearing loss that did not use hearing aids and in which their hearing loss went otherwise untreated showed significantly lower scores on the Mimni-Mental State Examination (a well-known assessment of cognitive function). This study was conducted over a period of 25 years, and the results are independent of any other factors, including education, age, or gender.

Adults with hearing loss that use hearing aids report improved communication, which then result in improved mood, more social interactions and increased cognitive stimulating abilities.

The brain-helping technologies of today’s hearing aids assist the brain in remaining active and engaged in the elderly, which combats cognitive decline. The “brain-first” focus that researchers and doctors have adopted will work to further these technologies and help people remain active, healthy and happy well into retirement years.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.

TWO LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU BETTER

San Mateo

88 N. San Mateo Drive
San Mateo, California, 94401

Phone: (650) 342-9449
Fax: (650) 342-4435
Email: info@calhearing.com

San Carlos

1008 Laurel Street
San Carlos, California, 94070

Phone: (650) 342-9449
Fax: (650) 342-4435
Email: info@calhearing.com