5 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Cleaning Your Ears in the Shower

Written by Mr Awajimijana Otana

Awajimijana Otana is the Director of Audiology at Verified Hearing. He leads the team of audiologists who provide you the 5-star hearing service you experience each time you visit us. His professional body (The British Academy of Audiology) has recognised him with national awards for his exceptional contribution to the clinical practice and research within Audiology in the UK.

January 18, 2023

Are you guilty of using your shower time to clean out your ears? While it may seem like a convenient and easy solution, there are several risks to this practice that you should be aware of. Here are 5 reasons why you should avoid cleaning your ears in the shower:

  1. Water can get trapped in your ear canal. When you wash your ears in the shower, water can easily get trapped in the ear canal, leading to a condition called “swimmer’s ear.” This can cause pain, irritation, and even a temporary loss of hearing.
  2. You could damage your ear drum. The ear drum is a thin membrane that separates the ear canal from the middle ear. It is responsible for converting sound waves into vibrations that the brain can understand. If you use a Q-tip or other foreign object to clean your ear, you risk damaging this delicate membrane, which can lead to hearing loss.
  3. You could push wax further into your ear. When you clean your ears, you may think you are removing ear wax, but in reality, you could be pushing it further into the ear canal. This can lead to a build-up of wax, which can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, and other ear problems.
  4. You could increase your risk of infection. The ear canal is lined with tiny hair-like structures called cilia, which help to keep dirt and debris out of the ear. When you wash your ears in the shower, you risk damaging these cilia, which can increase your risk of infection.
  5. You could be washing away natural oils. The ear canal produces a natural oil called cerumen, which helps to keep the ear clean and healthy. When you wash your ears in the shower, you may be washing away this beneficial oil, which can lead to dry, itchy ears.

So what should you do instead?

The best way to clean your ears is to simply let them be. If you feel like you have excess ear wax, you can use a warm washcloth to gently clean the outer ear. If you are experiencing tinnitus or other ear problems, it is important to see a hearing healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and treatment. At Verified Hearing, we can help you determine the cause of your ear problems and develop a plan to address them. Don’t risk damaging your ears – come see us instead!

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