Do you get the sensation that your ears are clogged? Excess wax can occasionally accumulate and make hearing difficult. At the same time, you may have read that using cotton buds to remove wax is not a safe method. Here are some pointers on how to clean your ears properly, what not to do, and when to consult your doctor.

Obstruction symptoms

Earwax, also known as cerumen, is a self-cleaning agent produced by your body. Dirt, germs, and other detritus are collected. Normally, wax makes its way out of the ears through chewing and other jaw motions.

Many folks don’t need to clean their ears at all. Wax, on the other hand, might accumulate and impair your hearing. An impaction occurs when earwax reaches this level.

If you have an impaction, you may have the following symptoms:

Pain in the afflicted ear

In the ear, there is fullness or ringing.

Loss of hearing in the afflicted ear

The odor emanating from the afflicted ear


If you wear headphones or earplugs, you may be more prone to getting extra wax. People over the age of 65, as well as those with developmental impairments, are at a higher risk. Because of the structure of your ear canal, it may be difficult to eliminate wax naturally.

Best Practices

Seeing a doctor is the safest approach to remove accumulated wax from your ears. During your session, your doctor may use specialized instruments to remove the obstruction, such as a cerumen spatula, forceps, or a suction device. If you decide to try waxing at home, the following are the safest methods to try:

Wet Clothes

Cotton swabs can be used to push wax deeper into the ear canal. Only use a cotton swab on the outside of your ear, and even better, wipe the region with a warm, wet towel.

Earwax Softener

Many pharmacies sell over-the-counter ear drops that soften the wax. These drops are usually a solution. May contain:

mineral oils

baby oil



hydrogen peroxide


Put the recommended number of drops in your ear, wait the specified period of time, and then filter or rinse your ear. Always read and follow the directions on the packaging. If your symptoms continue after therapy, contact your doctor.

Things To Avoid

Many people do not need to clean their ears on a regular basis. The wax should be able to take care of itself. You can push the wax deeper into the ear canal by using tiny items such as hairpins, cotton swabs, or the edges of tissues. It can be harmed if wax accumulates.

Sharp instruments, cotton swabs, or anything else that might harm the eardrum and permanently impair your hearing should not be used. If you have diabetes, do not attempt to irrigate your ears.

You have a compromised immune system.

It’s possible that you have a perforated eardrum.

Ear candles are another choice to avoid. Long, cone-shaped candles are placed into the ear canal and ignited to suck up the wax. A fire can be dangerous, and wax from a candle can unintentionally fall into your ear.


If you do not address a blockage, your symptoms may worsen. You may have increased ear discomfort and possibly hearing loss. Wax can also accumulate to the point where it makes it difficult for your doctor to look into your ear and identify underlying issues.

When Should You See Your Doctor?

Symptoms of earwax blockage include:

Feeling of fullness in the ear

Hearing impairment


It might also be an indication of another medical condition, such as an infection. Your doctor can examine your ears to see if the problem is due to wax accumulation or something else.

Signs of an ear infection in adults include:

Middle ear pain

fluid drainage

Hearing impairment

Symptoms of an ear infection generally appear rapidly. If you have discomfort or drainage from your ears, do not attempt to cure it yourself. Schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible to obtain an accurate diagnosis and, if required, medicines.

Inform your doctor if you have earwax impaction more than once a year or if you have specific risk factors. You should arrange a professional cleaning every six to twelve months.

How To Protect Your Ears

Aside from keeping your ears clean, follow these guidelines to safeguard them and assure healthy hearing for years to come:

Avoid putting tiny items in your ears. Anything smaller than your elbow should never be placed into your ear canal since it might cause an eardrum damage or a wax clog.

Limit your exposure to loud sounds. When the noise becomes too loud, use protective head covers or earplugs.

Take breaks from wearing headphones on a regular basis, and keep the level low enough that no one else can hear your music. Also, don’t crank up the volume on your automobile music system and do not forget to clean your ears regularly.

To avoid swimmer’s ear, dry your ears after swimming. Wipe the outside of the ear with a cloth and tilt your head to assist remove any excess water.

Take note of any changes in hearing that occur as a result of the use of certain medicines. Contact your doctor if you notice any changes, balance issues, or ringing in your ears.

If you experience unexpected discomfort, hearing loss, or an ear injury, see your doctor as soon as possible.