My ears make a lot of earwax. Is that a bad thing?

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Earwax, also called cerumen, is a natural substance our ears produce to protect and lubricate the delicate skin in the ear canal. A small amount of earwax doesn’t mean your ears are dirty. Earwax only becomes a problem when it blocks the ear canal, which can interfere with a hearing evaluation or with the operation of hearing aids. That’s why we recommend removal of all wax prior to a hearing test or hearing instrument fitting.

Some people try to remove wax with cotton swabs, hairpins, paperclips or even car keys. However, those “tools” can push the wax deeper into the ear canal and cause skin irritation or infection, or damage to the eardrum. To keep your ears clean and healthy, ear specialists recommend using a damp washcloth on your fingertip. Or better yet, leave wax removal to the professionals and ask your primary care provider or ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist to remove the wax.

When you come to see us, we always check your ears for wax, and we’ll let you know if it’s time to have it removed.

Please contact us with any questions.

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