Health Watch -- Listen Up: Stuff in the Ears

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about hearing and your ears. There is technology that can help restore some lost hearing, but it’s better to protect your ears in the first place. One thing you need to do is keep things out of your ears that don’t belong there.

Dr. Peter Roland, chairman of otolaryngology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says external ear infections can be caused by scratching or improper cleaning of the ear. Cotton swabs can shove debris deeper into the ear or can remove ear wax that helps protect the ear. You should also keep your fingers out of your ears. Doctors don’t recommend the use of ear candles, which are sold in some new age stores and which promise to use smoke to remove impurities. These can cause burns or perforate the ear drum. If you feel like your ears are clogged or blocked, see a doctor for cleaning instead of trying to do it yourself.


November 2006

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