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The Hidden Dangers of DIY Ear Wax Removal

The Hidden Dangers of DIY Ear Wax Removal

Date: 7th November 2023 | By: admin

What are the hidden danger of DIY Ear Wax Removal? Ear wax, medically known as cerumen, is a natural substance produced by the ear to protect the delicate lining of the ear canal. While it may seem tempting to remove this wax build up at home, attempting to do so without professional help can lead to potential risks and complications. In this blog post, we will explore the dangers associated with DIY ear wax removal and the importance of seeking professional assistance for this seemingly simple task.

  1. Ear canal damage and injury - The ear canal is a sensitive and delicate part of our auditory system. Attempting to remove ear wax without professional guidance can lead to accidental damage or injury, especially if improper tools or techniques are employed. Inadequate visibility and an inability to judge depth can result in cuts, abrasions, or even perforation of the eardrum. These injuries carry the risk of infection, hearing loss, and long-term damage that far outweighs the temporary discomfort caused by ear wax build-up.
  1. Pushing the wax deeper - Despite our attempts to dislodge ear wax at home, we often end up unintentionally pushing it deeper into the ear canal. Incorrectly using cotton buds or other objects like hair grips or toothpicks can cause the wax to become impacted, making it difficult to remove and potentially leading to a plug-like obstruction. This can obstruct hearing, cause repetitive ear infections, and in severe cases, may necessitate professional intervention to remove the impacted wax under specialized conditions.
  1. Damaging the delicate lining of the ear canal - The inner lining of the ear canal is lined with tiny hair-like structures called cilia that help move the ear wax outward naturally. Using excessive force to clean the ears can damage these fragile structures, impairing their function and disrupting the natural self-cleaning mechanism. Such damage may lead to a disruption in the balance of ear wax production, causing excessive wax build-up or even dryness, resulting in discomfort and increased susceptibility to ear infections.
  1. Risk of infection - Our ears have a natural defence mechanism against bacteria and fungal infections due to the acidic nature of ear wax. Attempting to remove ear wax with unsterilized instruments or when hands are not thoroughly clean significantly increases the risk of introducing harmful bacteria into the ear canal. This can lead to painful infections, swelling, itchiness, and in severe cases, hearing loss. It is crucial to understand that ear wax serves as a protective barrier, and removing it improperly can disrupt the body's natural defences.

While the thought of removing ear wax at home may sound like a simple and cost-effective idea, the potential dangers and risks associated with DIY ear wax removal far outweigh the benefits. Our ear health is very important and by seeking professional assistance from a qualified audiologist or HCA ensures that the procedure is conducted safely, with proper equipment and techniques, minimising the risk of injury, damage, and infection.

Read more on "The Benefits of Getting Ear Wax Removed by a Hearing Care Professional"

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