Cerumen, wax, ear goop, ear boogers, these are all terms that people affectionately use to address their ear wax. The one thing they all have in common is that people want it GONE—they don’t want it in their ears. Ear wax, however, is not inherently evil. It has some great features that are helpful, such as antimicrobial properties to prevent some infection. Wax can help foreign objects from going too far into the ear canal. And it helps to keep the ear canal lubricated.
The problem with ear wax comes when there is simply too much of a good thing and the canal becomes occluded. Our bodies are amazing, and it is a little-known fact that our ears are built to clean themselves. As new skin in the canal is created naturally by our bodies, it moves the old skin out of the ear, and with it, the wax. However, sometimes our ears create too much wax and it builds up. At that point in time, it is natural to seek intervention to get thee gone. However, there is a safe way to go about doing this, and a dangerous way. The dangerous way may seem obvious, but we will review it nonetheless. If you are looking at tweezers, a bobby pin, your car keys, a screw-driver, a paper clip, and yes, a cotton swab, these are all on the list of no-no’s to use to clean out your ear. If it looks pointy, sharp, or small enough to enter your ear canal, it can be safely guaranteed that it does not belong in your ears.
The best way to remove the wax is to contact your local Audiologist, Ears, Nose & Throat physician, or general practitioner to get the wax taken out safely. Special drops can be used at home and can aid in softening the wax to help it come out on its own. Moral of the story, if the wax needs to come out, let’s do it safely friends. We are happy to help remove your earwax.
Kelly Workman, Au.D, CCC/A Doctor of Audiology