Earwax isn’t a sign of poor hygiene. Produced naturally by glands in the outer ear, earwax prevents dirt and dust from reaching the eardrum. Old earwax is constantly being transported to the outer ear through the normal jaw motions of chewing and talking.
However, trouble can occur when earwax becomes pushed down into the ear canal and becomes impacted, usually by a cotton swab or a hearing device. A blocked ear canal can cause temporary hearing loss, dizziness, ringing in the ears, earaches and infections. Earwax can also accumulate in hearing devices, causing performance problems.
To clean your ears, wash only the external ear with a cloth. If excess earwax is causing blockage, a healthcare professional may recommend you place a few drops of mineral or baby oil into the ear, or use commercial earwax removal drops. However, we recommend you contact a physician or hearing health professional, who can help you make a plan for proper wax removal.
Earwax buildup on a hearing device can damage it, block sound, affect its fit, and/or cause feedback. To clean your hearing aids, use a kit that includes a wax pick and brush, following directions carefully. Also routinely visit your hearing professional for “clean and check” appointments. Ideally, they can check your ears for wax buildup during those appointments as well.
To have your hearing evaluated and learn about treatment options, call Arizona Hearing Specialists at 520.448.2895 for an appointment.