The Thick and Thin of Earwax

The old saying is true – you should never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. That means you, Q-tip users. They are doing you more harm than good.

A small amount of wax in your ears is healthy. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and your canals are basically self-cleaning. Old wax is pushed out of your ear with new skin growth, so anything like Q-tips or cloths just push most of the wax further in. There are several reasons why certain people build up wax more quickly than others. These reasons include:

  • Q-tip use: The Q-tip may bring some wax out, but most of it is pushed further in where it dries and becomes more difficult to remove
  • Small ear canals: A narrow canal will fill up more quickly
  • Hearing aids: Though necessary, hearing aids can prevent wax from fully working its way out of the canal, so hearing aid wearers often need regular checks of their ears by their audiologist
  • Genetics: Some people simply produce wax at a much faster rate than others

If you are prone to wax build ups, you may need regular checkups to monitor for and remove excess wax. One of our certified audiologists can help by making recommendations for wax blockage prevention and, when necessary, by performing wax removal. For more information or to book an appointment with one of our certified audiologist, contact our clinic today.