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Common Signs You Need a Professional Ear Cleaning

Woman with Hand to Ear

‘Clean your ears’ is something we are all told to do from a very young age. Yet when we grow older, professional audiologists will say to us that, in fact, the ear is entirely self-cleaning and it can be dangerous to clean your ears.

Well, there is some truth on both sides of the story. Given that your auditory system contains a lot of natural oils and is such a delicate, complex instrument, it’s no surprise that you could end up damaging them by over-forceful cleaning. That said, there are a few signs to watch out for that mean you may need to have your ears professionally clean.

Blocked ears

Some people overproduce wax – sometimes naturally, sometimes because they wear earphones or hearing aids a little too much. And if you have a feeling of blocked ears, it’s usually a sign that your wax is beginning to get clogged up – or impacted. If earwax dries up before it reaches the outer ear, it can cause problems – and you may need to arrange a professional ear cleaning.

A change in hearing

Unsurprisingly, when your ears have too much wax in them, it can lead to problems developing in your hearing. If you are experiencing muffling of sounds in your ear and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better, it’s best to pay your audiologist a visit. They may recommend a softening oil solution or an at-home ear cleaning kit first, but if the problem is significant, it might be time for a professional ear clean.

Tinnitus

Regardless if your ears are blocked with wax or not, if you experience ringing or buzzing, it’s best to visit your audiologist. The likelihood is that it is wax accumulating near the eardrum, but it may even be more severe than that – you might have developed tinnitus.

Pain

A variety of different reasons can cause pains in your ears, but the truth is that earaches are usually caused by infection, damage or problems with your eardrum. You should always see your audiologist in cases like ongoing earaches, and, if they rule out any of the most common occurrences, may reveal that your pain is due to a build-up of wax. It happens when your earwax balls up and starts putting pressure on the nerves in your ear, and it’s important to get it checked out sooner rather than later. Any major incident of an earache should be treated seriously – and quickly.

Discoloration

We all know the usual color of our earwax – after all, when the ears self-clean, we will always see the results! However, if you notice that your earwax has changed color and become a darker shade, it could be a sign that something is up. When too much debris or bacteria enters your canal, the ear will produce more wax to protect itself. And ultimately, that means the wax will be darker in color and be more likely to become impacted. Visit your audiologist, who may well recommend a professional ear clean.