The Affordable Hearing Aid Center

How are Ears Self Cleaning?

a diagram of an inner ear

Most people don’t actually realize that ears are self-cleaning machines. That might sound amazing, but there are a number of parts of the body that are self-cleaning, and the ears are just one example. Left to their own devices, they will ensure that they are perfectly clean, and you generally won’t need to do anything about it. It will be rare that there will be something wrong to the point where you actually have to intercept the process and clean the ears yourself. In this article, we’ll look a little more closely at this self-cleaning process, and discuss how and when you can safely clean them yourself.

Self-cleaning process

The ears are subject to all kinds of invaders coming into the canal, or they would be if it were not for wax. Dirt and debris need to be kept out of the ear canal, and the body’s natural defense mechanism for ensuring that is the earwax. Truly, that wax is the ear’s main defense, and without it we would be in trouble. Earwax is antifungal, antibacterial and has a property of being shear-thinning. That means that it can cling to the ear in low volumes, providing a protective layer which absorbs particles of dirt from the outside. Once a lot has built up, the movement of the jaw enables the wax to naturally fall away. This cycle is complete, and is enough to keep your ears as clean as they need to be.

Safely cleaning your ears

All that being said, you might still want to know how you can clean your ears, and there is indeed one way in which you can do so. You only need to clean the outside of the ear and you should avoid putting anything inside the ear canal at all. That goes for cotton swabs, ear picks or anything else that you might be thinking of – even ear candling and home oil remedies. Instead, all you need to do is merely wipe the outside of the ear canal opening with a damp cloth. That is all the cleaning that you should do, and all you need to do and anything else is probably going to cause more harm than good. With this method, along with the ear’s natural cleaning cycle, you should be able to keep your ears as clean as necessary.

When to see a professional

However, if you find that you do have an excess of earwax – something that can happen to anyone at any time in their life – then you can do something about it. But you should not take matters into your own hands, as we have already said. Instead, you should make a point of seeing a hearing health professional, who will be able to professionally extract the excess wax from your ears in a way which is safe and highly effective. You don’t need this kind of cleaning all that often, but when you do there is only one place to go. That is much better than attempting it yourself.