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Friday, January 06, 2017

The dos and don'ts of earwax and healthy ear care by AAO-HNS

The American Academy of Otolaryngolgy-Head and Neck Surgery on January 3, 2017 has published updated guidelines for treatment of earwax.

"Earwax or cerumen is a normal substance that the body produces to clean, protect, and 'oil' ears. It acts as a self-cleaning agent to keep ears healthy. Dirt, dust, and other small matter stick to the earwax which keeps them from getting farther into the ear."

The Academy suggests that patients should dissuade from cleaning their ears with objects which can block the ear canal and cause diminished hearing in addition to other symptoms.

Following are a few of those listed in the update:
  • Don’t overclean your ears. Excessive cleaning may irritate the ear canal, cause infection, and even increase the changes of cerumen impaction.
  • Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. Your mother was right! Cotton swabs, hairpins and toothpicks can all injure your ears and may cause a laceration in the ear canal, a perforation of the eardrum, and/or dislocation of the hearing bones — leading to hearing loss, dizziness, ringing, and other symptoms of ear injury.
  • Don’t use ear candles. There is no evidence that they remove impacted cerumen, and candling can cause serious damage to the ear canal and eardrum.
  • Do seek a medical evaluation if you have symptoms of hearing loss, ear fullness, or ear pain, if you are not certain that they are from cerumen.
  • Do ask your provider about ways that you can treat your cerumen impaction at home. You may have certain medical or ear conditions that may make some options unsafe.
  • Do seek medical attention if you’re experiencing ear pain, drainage, or bleeding. These are not symptoms of cerumen impaction and need to be evaluated.


  1. A friend once said one shouldn't clean those wax that they would come out themselves.
    i think thats not true and i'd rather accept the fact that one should not overclean


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