The ears are one of the most integral parts of the human body. Aside from hearing, they also aid our balance and can generally have a huge influence on our health. Treating them with care is naturally a huge responsibility for everyone, and ear cleaning is a vital element.

Millions of people are guilty of bad habits, though. In fact, it’s almost impossible to find an audiologist that hasn’t encountered patients who could’ve prevented a visit simply be avoiding the bad habits. Here are three to look out for.

Cleaning too often

Cleaning the ears isn’t only about removing wax when a problem occurs. Prevention is the best form of protection, and the occasional cleaning is used to keep your ears in the best health possible. Sadly, many people do it far too often.  

Even when using a suitable method, cleaning the ears on a daily basis is far too much. Wax and bacteria are necessary for good ear health. In fact, it actively fights infections. Therefore, cleaning them on a daily (or even weekly) basis could actually put you at risk of further problems.

The human body naturally clears wax and debris as the skin grows outwards while daily jaw movements also aid the flow. If you’re not experiencing pain, discomfort, or hearing problems, it’s probably best to leave them alone.

The cotton swab method

Using cotton swabs to remove wax and debris is one of the most commonly used methods of ear cleaning. Unfortunately, however, is also happens to be one of the worst and is something that drives an audiologist insane.

Virtually everyone has inserted a cotton swab into their ear canal at one stage or another, and the visible wax can leave you feeling like it has done a great job. In reality, the thickness of the cotton swab is more than half the size of the ear. As such, this inevitably means that wax and blockages will be pushed further towards the eardrum.

Firstly, this is likely to affect your hearing in a negative manner. Secondly, it could cause damage to the eardrum and the inner ear. If this happens, you’ll have a far more serious problem on your hands.  

Cold water cleaning

Given that ear irrigation is a common method, even used by your audiologist, it can be tempting to try the water method yourself. If your earwax impaction is severe enough to need irrigation, schedule an appointment with your audiologist to ensure it is properly and safely removed.