Contact Us Now

Allen Park: 313-381-8787
Southfield: 248-304-7772

Follow Us

Earwax can be annoying. If enough of it builds up in your ear canal, it can cause an assortment of problems like impaired hearing, ringing in the ear, dizziness, and more. When the earwax does become a nuisance, you’re obviously going to want to clean it out. But don’t you dare reach for those cotton swabs! You’ll be doing more bad than good.

In this post, we’ll give you a few options to safely cleaning out your ears when it reaches a certain level. If you have any questions or are suffering through an ear, nose, or throat problems, then contact our office today to make an appointment with one of our ENT specialists in Southfield.

Earwax and the Problem With Cotton Swabs

Earwax, also known as cerumen, has an unappealing yellow hue and a sticky texture. We get it, earwax is not the most attractive thing in the world. But the truth of the matter is that it is actually helping you. Earwax is a self-cleaning agent that your body produces which helps to clean, lubricate, and also protect your ear canal. It does this by trapping dirt and other debris and slowing the growth of bacteria. Eventually, the wax works its way out of the ears on its own.

Yet, no matter how many times we hear that the earwax leaves the ear naturally and not to worry about it, it’s common practice for people to try and clean the wax out using cotton swabs. This can create more problems. While it might seem like the swabs are cleaning out your ears, they’re actually pushing some of the wax deeper into your ear which can seriously damage the lining of your eardrum or ear canal.

There’s a saying that doctors like to use that states you should never stick anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. So basically, don’t stick any small objects in there!

At Home Remedies

If you are experiencing blockage, there are a few things that you can do. The best option is to see your doctor or ENT specialists. They have instruments that can safely remove the wax such as a cerumen spoon, forceps, and more. If you can’t stand it and want the earwax softened immediately, you have a couple of options for at home remedies. One simple way you can do this is to wipe the area with a damp, warm washcloth. You can also use an eyedropper filled with hydrogen peroxide, mineral oil, glycerin, or baby oil. If these methods don’t seem to be working, they do sell earwax softener at your local pharmacy. Do not try to irrigate your ears if you have a hole in your eardrum, suffer from diabetes, or have a compromised immune system.  

Here at Downriver ENT, we have a dedicated team of ear, nose, and throat specialists ready to help. If you would like more information about safely cleaning out your ears or you would like to make an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact us today!