How To Get Rid Of Ear Wax

Stuffy ears aren't the greatest feeling in the world, and you'd think getting rid of ear wax would be as simple as using a cotton swab. However, this process of cleaning your ears is actually one that many health professionals advise against. While it's safe to clean your outer ear lobe with a swab, per Healthline, putting it in your ear canal is a no-go.

Why? Well, instead of clearing the wax you're actually more at risk of pushing it further into your ear canal which can potential result in injury and infection. One of the most common injuries is a perforated or ruptured eardrum, according to Mayo Clinic, due to how far the swab is inserted into the ear.

And as ear wax helps trap bacteria, pushing it further in the ear can increase your risk of developing an ear infection due to a sudden build-up in wax and bacteria. With that being the case, how do you get rid of ear wax without using something like a cotton swab?

If it becomes too difficult to remove ear wax, you can get your ears professionally cleaned

According to Harvard Health, ear wax is actually beneficial for your ears. It prevents the skin insider your ear from becoming dry, it traps dirt and bacteria before it reaches the inner canal, and can absorb dead skin cells and debris. In fact, the ear has it's own self-cleansing mechanism anyway, with wax eventually making its way out the ear naturally with no need for intervention.

However, some people are predisposed to have more wax than others, and that's when it can become an issue. If you experience muffled hearing, earache, vertigo, or tinnitus (via the UK's national health service the NHS), that's a sign that you've got a pretty major build-up of wax.

In that case, you can buy over the counter medicines that dissolve ear wax or you can irrigate your ears by flushing them out with water using a bulb syringe, per Healthline. But if the wax is too hard or difficult to be naturally cleaned, you can book an appointment with your healthcare provider to get your ears professionally cleaned by flushing or sucking the wax out, according to Insider.