"There is an inclination for people to want to clean their ears because they believe earwax is an indication of uncleanliness", said Dr. Seth Schwartz, chair of the guideline update group.
Before we get into that explanation, though, it's good to review why people use cotton buds in their ears to begin with.
The experts stressed that use of any of the above-mentioned things to remove earwax could lead to hearing loss, ringing or dizziness.
Stop cleaning your ears. However, if the process is disturbed, earwax might build up in your ears bringing health consequences such as deafness. For the majority of people, ear wax removal happens naturally, with your body ridding itself of the old wax by itself; still, though, we're often taught that it's gross to leave our ears to our devices, even though poking around in there can be kind of unsafe to our health.
Excessive cleaning may also irritate the ear canal, cause infection and can cause even more wax, or cerumen, to be produced.
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"The mantra from previous generations of "don't stick anything in your ear that is smaller than your elbow" still applies", said Dr. Duane Taylor.
Chewing, jaw motion, and growing skin in the ear canal help to move old earwax from inside the ears to the ear opening where it then flakes off or is washed off during bathing.
You should take medical treatment or help if you're facing trouble hearing consonants, ear pain and any symptoms of hearing loss.
Earwax, also known as cerumen, is essentially the snot that serves to grease up the inside of your ears and trap any invading dirt particles. About one in 10 children, and one in 20 adults, will experience cerumen build-up that leads to a block or a partial block in the ear canal.
If you're suffering from earwax buildup, ask your doctor about safe ways to treat it.
In most cases, though, wax that's naturally found near the outer part of the ear can be wiped away with a damp cloth, Taylor added. As well, we should avoid ear candles, since there is no proof that they actually remove impacted cerumen and they can cause serious damage to the eardrum.
The group reviewed the latest medical literature in order to give doctors a set of "best practices" when it comes to earwax problems, and they wanted patients to know that earwax isn't necessarily a bad thing.