Hill Hear Better Teaches the Proper Way to Clean the Ears, Including Two Practices to Avoid

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Local audiology practice publishes an article on how people can clean their ears properly, the common practices that can be dangerous, and when to see a hearing specialist.

Anatomy of the ear

While the process of cleaning your ears sounds simple enough, many people end up doing more harm than good, according to Hill Hear Better, which has recently released an article titled The Right Way to Clean Your Ears. Specifically, two common practices—the use of cotton swabs and the use of ear candles—can actually be harmful, with the potential to cause irritation, temporary hearing loss, and eardrum perforation.

Since the ears are typically self-cleaning, and the normal movements of the jaw push earwax into the outer ear, cleaning out the ear canal is usually unnecessary. Normal bathing to clean the outer ear is all that is required, and under normal circumstances, Hill Hear Better advises against the use of cotton swabs, ear candles, or the insertion of any foreign object in the ear canal, which will likely only push the earwax into the eardrum causing impaction and hearing loss.

Earwax also serves several useful purposes and contains protective, lubricating, and antibacterial properties. Over-cleaning of the ears can, therefore, cause dry, itchy, irritated skin within the ear canal.

In some situations, however, people will produce too much earwax or earwax will become impacted against the eardrum. If this happens, the best way to clean the ear is with an earwax softening solution. In the article, Hill Hear Better describes how to make this solution at home and the process for safely using it to remove earwax.

Hill Hear Better is also warning against at-home ear cleaning in the presence of certain symptoms, including fever, dizziness, ear pain, or ear discharge. If there is a serious blockage or ear infection, attempting to clean the ears at home can make the conditions worse.

Hearing specialists are specifically trained to safely and effectively clean the ears using stronger medications and specialized instruments, if necessary. Allowing a professional to perform the cleaning is safer and protects the delicate structures of the middle ear. Additionally, hearing aid users should check in every 6 months for professional hearing aid cleaning and examination of the ear.

About Hill Hear Better

Hill Hear Better is a full-service audiology practice with locations in Cincinnati, Ohio and Batesville, Ind., providing state-of-the-art services that include hearing aid screening, hearing evaluations, hearing aids and accessories, rehabilitative counseling, and preventive care advice. As an outcome-based practice, Hill Hear Better offers its patients the time and attention needed for optimized hearing in a warm, friendly environment.

Michael L. Hill, Au.D.
Hill Hear Better

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Michael L. Hill, Au.D.