Using earbuds to clean earwax – But is it safe?

earwax blockage- Sriramakrishnahospital

After a long bath we often tend to reach out for earbuds? Don’t we? We all agree that it gives a satisfying feeling. We all have earbuds at home at our reach. A box of earbuds is something that many individuals store nearby their comb, moisturizer, and other everyday necessities. To remove the wax from inside their ears, they frequently turn to using them at least once a day. 

What is meant by earwax?

The ear canal’s skin secretes oil, which congeals with debris to form wax. Each individual’s ear wax may have a different texture. Earwax may seem dry for some people or more sticky for others. Everyone produces earwax since it is a natural process.

Although we agree that earwax looks gross, it is there for a purpose. It acts as a barrier to protect the ear canal from the bone below. Furthermore, it prevents dirt, bacteria, and germs from getting inside your ears.

Should we remove earwax?

It’s almost tempting to remove the earwax with an earbud. Sticking and spinning the earbud inside the ear fissure provides a pleasing sensation, but it is also detrimental to the ears.

Can we use earbuds to earwax?

It has become very common to use earbuds to remove earwax. Everyone has used them at one point or another to clean their ear wax. Similar to cleaning your teeth, it is a habit. Medical professionals caution against cleaning ears with an earphone, though. 

What are the reasons to not use earbuds to remove earwax?

While using earbuds might provide temporary relief from earwax blockage, it can also lead to various risks and complications:

Pushing Earwax Deeper:

One of the most significant dangers of using earbuds is the risk of pushing earwax deeper into the ear canal. Instead of removing the blockage, users may inadvertently compact the earwax, making the problem worse. This can result in more significant discomfort and potential damage to the ear canal.

Ear Canal Injury:

The ear canal is a delicate structure, and inserting earbuds too deeply or aggressively can lead to injury. Scratches, cuts, or punctures in the ear canal can cause pain and increase the risk of infection.

Earwax Blockage:

Repeated use of earbuds can disrupt the natural migration of earwax towards the ear’s opening. This disruption may lead to earwax becoming impacted deeper in the ear canal, necessitating medical intervention for removal.

Infection Risk:

Earwax serves as a protective barrier against bacteria and foreign particles. When earbuds are used to remove earwax, this barrier is compromised, increasing the risk of ear infections.

Damage to the Eardrum:

In extreme cases, aggressive use of earbuds can lead to damage to the eardrum, a vital component of hearing. A perforated eardrum can result in hearing loss and other complications.

What is meant by earwax blockage?

The medical word for earwax blockage is “cerumen impaction.” Despite its many advantages, earwax blockage can cause problems if too much of it accumulates.

Who is at risk for earwax blockage?

Earwax blockage can happen to anyone of any age. Although it usually affects mostly children and rarely in adults. 

Earwax blockage tends to occur in people:

  • Who have excess ear hair
  • Who use earphones or earplugs
  • Who are dealing with skin conditions like eczema
  • Who experience any abnormality in functioning of ears. 

What are the common symptoms of earwax blockage?

  • Pain in the ear 
  • Trouble in hearing 
  • Feeling of stuffiness in ears
  • Ringing sound in the ears
  • Dizziness 
  • Constant itching in the ears 
  • Any visible discharge from the ears

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, reach out to the ear hospital in Coimbatore to get blocked earwax safely removed.

What to expect when you have earwax blockage?

Impacted cerumen is uncomfortable and bothersome, but it’s usually not harmful. Even so, if you experience impacted earwax symptoms such as ear pain, vertigo, or hearing loss, you should contact a healthcare professional.

Some people produce more earwax than others, and they might require regular procedures to get it out. Ask your doctor for advice on how to soften earwax and maintain the health of your ears.

How to remove earwax easily without using earbuds?

Given the risks associated with using earbuds for earwax removal, it is essential to explore safer alternatives. Here are some recommended methods:

Over-the-counter ear drops:

Over-the-counter ear drops designed to soften earwax can be effective in helping earwax naturally migrate out of the ear. Follow the product instructions carefully and consult a healthcare professional if symptoms persist.

 Seeking Professional Help: 

When dealing with severe earwax blockage, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional or an ear, nose, and throat specialist. They can safely remove the impacted earwax using specialized tools and techniques.

What are the steps to prevent the buildup of earwax?

Prevention is often the best approach when it comes to earwax blockage. Here are some recommendations to lessen excessive earwax accumulation:

Avoid Cotton Swabs and Earbuds: 

As discussed earlier, cotton swabs and earbuds can do more harm than good. 

Ear Hygiene: 

Clean the outer ear gently with a washcloth during your regular shower routine to remove excess earwax.

Earwax Softeners:

If you are prone to earwax blockage, consider using earwax softening drops regularly to prevent the buildup of hardened wax. 

Hearing Protection:

When exposed to loud noises, wear hearing protection like earplugs to prevent earwax from being pushed deeper into the ear. As earphones ear wax can build quickly upon long hours of using earphones.

Regular Checkups:

Include ear health as part of your regular healthcare routine. A healthcare professional can monitor your earwax levels and provide guidance on prevention.

Important takeaway:

While the temptation to use earbuds to clean earwax is understandable, the risks associated with this practice outweigh the potential benefits. Pushing earwax deeper into the ear canal, causing injuries, and increasing the risk of infection are significant concerns.

When it comes to earwax blockage, the use of earbuds is a practice best avoided in favor of safer and more effective methods. Earwax may be a nuisance, but the consequences of mishandling it can be far more troublesome. So, next time you consider reaching for those earbuds, think twice and prioritize the health and safety of your ears. Reach out to the best ENT doctor in Coimbatore if you are facing earwax blockage issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Clean My Ears?
However, frequent washing might cause more harm since it removes the ear's sensitive outer covering, making it easier for bacteria to enter and proliferate. Only you can clean your ears every two to four weeks, according to experts.
There are a lot of reasons not to use cotton buds. The sensitive and delicate skin in the ear canal can be broken and damaged by sticking cotton buds into the outer ear. This can lead to bleeding, inflammation, ear infections, and other problems that can result in temporary or, in extreme cases, permanent hearing loss.
It's best to clean your ears outside the canal of your ear using cotton swabs, tissues, or even simply a damp, clean towel.
Sri Ramakrishna Hospital provide best specialized doctors for ear problems. They provide best diagnostic procedures to cure the disease and help to remove dust from earwax . Sri Ramakrishna hospital provides the accurate diagnoses and maintains good ear health.
Sri Ramakrishna Hospital provides the best ENT specialist for treating ear blockage. Where the ENT specialist provides good care for the ear, nose, and throat while experiencing severe blockage caused by earwax. They are using specialized instruments and methods to safely remove the affected earwax.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Blogs


395, Sarojini Naidu Rd, New Siddhapudur, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641044.

Opening Hours

We are available


Get in Touch

Do you have any queries/feedback to share with us? Please write to us in the form towards your right & we'll get back to you within 4 hours.
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Play Store
  • Apple App Store