A lot of people worry about keeping their ears clean. There is, after all, an element of embarrassment about having wax falling out of your ears at inopportune moments. But the big question is – do you need to clean them? We’re going to discuss that question right now – and the answers might surprise you.

The truth about your ears

The surprising truth about ears is that you rarely need to clean them. Why? In simple terms, your ears clean themselves. Wax is always building up in your inner ears, of course, but it is also an essential part of keeping them healthy. Over time, the wax moves from the inner ear to the outer, carrying a lot of dirt, dust and debris – all of which could cause you infection – with it. And all you need to do is wipe it away when it finally migrates to the externalities of your ear. Or, wash it away while you are in the shower or let it dry and fall out naturally. The vast majority of people out there will never need their ears cleaned professionally – and should never need to stick a cotton bud down there.

If you need clean ears, see a professional

If you do ever need your ears cleaned professionally, which is a rare occurrence, it is likely to be because of impacted earwax. When the wax starts to harden inside the ear, it can become painful, uncomfortable and stop you from hearing properly. At this point, you should make the decision to see your audiologist and have the impacted wax taken out with specialist equipment. If over time, you realize that the wax keeps plugging up, it might be a good idea to get your ears cleaned on a regular basis – once every six to 12 months will be more than enough. Bear in mind, however, that too much cleaning can strip your inner ears of important natural oils that help prevent bacteria and infection from causing you damage. Always speak to your audiologist, who will recommend the best possible course of action.

Can you DIY?

It is possible to assist the cleaning process by yourself – as long as you are careful and avoid many of the damaging ‘treatments’ that you will find on sale in your local stores. For example, cotton swabs will only impact your earwax further, while ear candling is not effective in the slightest – as well as being dangerous. Instead, seek out natural oils like mineral and olive oil, which are perfect for keeping your inner ear safe, while at the same time softening up the impacted earwax. Use between three to five drops in each affected ear, but only twice a week maximum.

Daily cleaning

Finally, when it comes to daily cleaning of your ears, you can wash the main part of your ear carefully as much as you like – and even the exit hole where your outer ear is located. However, never, ever stick anything in your ear – no matter how tempting it might be. Cotton swabs can be dangerous and it’s not unheard for people to seriously damage their inner ears, let alone causing a lot more earwax buildup.