Audiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating hearing-related issues
What to do About Earwax
Whether you have a hearing loss or simply experience ear issues from time to time, earwax can be an annoying culprit to get rid of! Follow these easy tips and tricks to not only keep your hearing aids free from excess earwax, but your ears as well!
Removing earwax from your hearing aid
If you’re hearing temporary static or feedback, chances are something is trapped in the tiny holes and spaces within your hearing aids, most likely debris or earwax. This usually happens when the hearing aids are not properly cleaned. To avoid build-up from clogging the microphone and sound ports of your hearing aids, it’s vital to clean the hearing device daily with hearing aids tools, such as a hearing aid cleaning brush, an ear hook, wax pick or wire loop or a multitool, which is a sort of “Swiss Army knife” of hearing aid cleaning tools.
Keeping your ears clean
Don’t forget about the cause of the culprit — your ears. In addition to keeping your hearing aids clean, it’s important to maintain proper hygiene of your ears. While earwax is natural, it can cause hearing aids to malfunction if it gets stuck in the nooks and crannies of the device. To keep earwax to a minimum, gently clean your ears with a warm, wet washcloth once a day. Avoid inserting a cotton swab into your ears, as this motion poses a risk of pushing earwax deeper into the ear canal or worse, puncturing the eardrum.
If you still find excess amounts of earwax with daily cleansing, you could use at-home earwax removal kits. These over-the-counter softening drops are put into the ears, while holding to the head to the side, and then allowed to drain out after five minutes. Sitting up will let the drops drain out naturally. To rid the ear of any excess fluid, a bulb-type syringe, usually included in the kits, may be used to gently flush the ear with warm water.
Ear cleaning tricks to avoid
Doctors recommend against ear candling, a method in which a hollow cone made of beeswax and paraffin with cloth on a tapered end. The cloth is placed into the ear. A second person lights the wax end, holding your hair to avoid the flame. The theory goes that a vacuum is created as the flame burns, drawing the wax from the ear. However, limited clinical trials prove otherwise.
If, with good ear hygiene, you are still experiencing earwax issues, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your hearing healthcare professional. They can provide additional suggestions for earwax removal.