Ear wax is beneficial. It is self-cleaning, protects the inner ear, moisturizes the ear canal and has anti-biotic properties, i.e. germs don't get through.
People who wear hearing aids should be examined regularly for impaction that can cause feedback, limit hearing and cause damage to hearing aids.
Ear wax can cause temporary hearing loss even when 80% of the ear canal's diameter is blocked. (That's good news, so make an appointment today.)
Removal techniques include:
- At home:
wax-dissolving agents (some o-t-c products are available for home maintenance)
- By a hearing care professional:
irrigation - removing the impacted ear wax with water under mild pressure
manual removal with special instruments
suction, carefully controlled and monitored by the hearing professional
Home care should NOT include: cleaning the ear with a cotton swab, oral jet irrigators or ear candling. These practices invariably do more harm than good.
Take the advice of your doctor who may recommend regular visits for a safe ear cleaning.
Bottom line? Cleaning your ears is not a do-it-yourself project like brushing your teeth. Your ears will take care of themselves under normal circumstances - no maintenance needed.