Keeping your ears clean is important, but did you know that overcleaning them is a real danger that could do more harm than good? It’s understandable that people want to keep their ears clean, especially because earwax can seem gross and unnecessary. However, if you get into the habit of constantly cleaning your ears, then it could lead to a number of problems in the future.

So in this post, we’ll be talking about the dangers of overcleaning your ears and what you can do to get out of the habit.

The Dangers of Overcleaning Your Ears

Your ears naturally produce earwax (known as cerumen to doctors) that protects and lubricates your ear canal. Overcleaning your earwax strips this protective layer, making the insides of your ears vulnerable to issues like infection and irritation.

The act of removing earwax can also cause damage to your ear canal, especially if you use metal tools such as ear picks. Doing this can damage your hearing if you’re not careful because you could damage the skin in your ear canal, opening up the possibility of infection, bacteria, and fungi. This could lead to some painful situations, especially if you frequently swim.

It’s worth mentioning that your ears already have a self-cleaning mechanism. This is because excess earwax is naturally pushed out by new earwax. If you overclean your ears, then it can lead to greater wax buildup and potential blockages.

In short, it’s important to understand the significance of earwax in hearing. Your ears don’t produce it because it’s a waste product–it has a real purpose and helps to keep your ears healthy.

How to Stop Overcleaning Your Ears

But despite the dangers of overcleaning, occasionally cleaning your ears isn’t a bad idea. Here’s what you can do to prevent it.

  • Avoid inserting things into your ears. Most ear cleaning tools like ear picks and cotton swabs need to be inserted into your ears. This can push earwax back into the ear and cause blockages if you’re not careful. In addition, it could cause abrasions inside your ear canal which could lead to infection.
  • Clean your ears gently. The only cleaning you need to do is use a damp cloth to clean the outer parts of your ear. You can gently clean the outside of your ear canal, but don’t insert anything deep into it.
  • Consider using ear drops. Excessive earwax buildup can be an issue for some people. If you experience this, then using ear drops could be a good solution to help you soften the wax so that it naturally falls out.
  • Consult your doctor. If earwax is becoming a problem for you, then don’t hesitate to speak with a healthcare professional. This is especially important if you’re noticing hearing loss or commonly experience ear infections. Healthcare professionals can help inspect your ear canal and clean it with specialized tools if needed.

In short, it’s best to be careful when cleaning your ears to avoid damaging them and opening them up to infection.