Southern Indiana Hearing Solutions

Your Path to Better Hearing
2920 McIntire Drive, Suite 310
Bloomington, IN 47403
Text Us: (812)558-8781

When Should You Visit an Audiologist for an Ear Cleaning?

a man having his ears examined

Many of us tend to clean our ears by ourselves. Using cotton swabs, over-the-counter-kits and homemade cleaning remedies, we do what we can at home to remove any excessive build-up of wax. 

However, care needs to be taken. Certain methods, such as the aforementioned use of cotton swabs, can be dangerous if care isn't taken. You could penetrate your eardrum if you accidentally push too far, and you might experience hearing loss as a consequence. And some other cleaning methods can prove ineffective as well as harmful. We are thinking of ear candling, a trending ear cleaning method that is popular with many, but ultimately fruitless, as studies have shown that these treatments have little to no impact on wax removal.

Ultimately, when it comes to ear cleaning, your first port of call should be your audiologist. He or she will advise you on the best treatment for your ears, and they will use the correct medical tools to remove the wax without damaging the sensitive nerves in your ear or your eardrum. One such tool is a vacuum that can suck large pieces of earwax out of your ear, and that will loosen any wax that has become lodged within.

So, in answer to the question of our title, you should always visit an audiologist when you know your ears need cleaning. With a complete clean that is performed by a professional, you won't need to worry about your hearing being damaged when treatments are being performed. 

If you are unsure as to whether you need your ears cleaned or not, these are some of the signs you suggest you need to visit your audiologist. 

Tinnitus

There are several reasons why you might experience tinnitus, including age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noise and certain health conditions, including Meniere's disease. Another cause can be an excessive build-up of wax near the eardrum. So, if you experience ringing, hissing or any other sounds in your area that are associated with tinnitus, make an appointment with your audiologist. You might simply need your ears cleaned, but then again, you might need advice on other ear-related problems too. 

Swimmer's ear

This is an infection caused by the remaining water in your ear after you have been swimming. If not dried out completely, your ears will become a breeding ground for bacteria and this could cause you pain, itchiness and irritation. This problem can be alleviated by your audiologist who will clean out any wax from your ear, and who will use other treatments to fight off the ear infection.

Excess earwax

You know you have an excess of earwax when you notice it falling out of your ear, or when you start to experience a loss in your hearing. Rather than using an unsafe method to remove the wax yourself, visit your audiologist for professional treatment. 

Smelly earwax

This can indicate an ear infection, or you might have a blockage in your ear. Smelly earwax can also be indicative of certain medical problems. Your audiologist will determine the cause, and this will usually begin with a thorough cleaning of your ear. 

So, put away your cotton swabs, and think carefully before trying a homemade remedy. If you know your ears need cleaning, put your safety first and visit an audiologist for professional advice, and a recognized treatment plan.