The substance called cerumen, sometimes known as earwax, is the reason we feel inclined to clean our ears.
It’s natural for your body to produce it, as it aids in the protection and lubrication of your ears. Your ears would be uncomfortable and dry if you didn’t have earwax.
It even has antibacterial characteristics, so your ears can keep themselves clean. Earwax acts as a filter for your ears, keeping harmful substances such as dirt and dust out by trapping them so they don’t go too far within.
By chewing and moving your jaw, you can help remove old earwax out of the ear canal and towards the ear entrance.
These movements help the old earwax fall out naturally. Earwax, on the other hand, is formed in the outside region of your ear canal, not in the deep part.
Most often than not, the reason people have an earwax blockage against their eardrum is that they tried to clean their ears with a cotton swab—or something similar—and pushed the wax further in.
Other serious problems that can happen if you swab or put pointed things in your ear include:
However, if earwax has built up to the degree that it causes symptoms like muffled hearing, a person may need to clean their ears
In this article, you will learn how to clean your ears in the correct and safe way.
How to Clean Your Ears
Visiting an ENT specialist or healthcare expert to clean your ears is the safest option, as they would use specialized instruments to properly remove any extra earwax or debris.
Instruments that may be used include:
- A suction device
- A spoon-like tool
A doctor can also help you figure out whether you have any other underlying health issues that need to be addressed.
If a person still chooses to clean their ears at home, one of the following safe methods can be used:
Using a Clean, Moist Cloth
A cloth or paper towel can be moistened using lukewarm water. Then you can use the cloth to wipe the outer parts of the ear after squeezing off the excess. Inserting an object into the ear is never a good idea.
Mineral Oil or Traditional Ear Drops
Ear drops can be purchased over the counter or online for use at home. Alternatively, a variety of solutions can be used as ear drops to soften earwax and make it simpler to remove.
The following are some of the solutions:
- Baby oil
- Mineral oil
- hydrogen peroxide
- carbamide peroxide
You could either purchase an irrigation kit that uses simple water or a combination of water and saline solution, or go to a doctor for professional irrigation. ENT doctors may wish to apply ear drops before the irrigation process.
To minimize negative effects such as dizziness, warm the water and eardrops to body temperature before beginning the process. However, users should be careful not to overheat the solution, as this might result in a burn.
To irrigate the ear, squirt water or saline solution into the ear canal with a syringe. For about 15 to 30 minutes, tilt your head to one side to let any ear drops that were given before irrigation stay in your ear. This will allow them to dry out.
If you have any of the following conditions, you should not use the irrigation method to clean your ears:
- Holes in their eardrums
- Eczema or other skin conditions in or near the ear
- A weakened immune system
- A tube inserted into your eardrums
Methods to Avoid
a. Cotton Swabs
Cotton swabs are one of the most popular ways of cleaning ears at home. However, cotton swabs carry the following risks:
- Pushing earwax deeper into the ear canal
- Slowing down the natural process of earwax removal
- Injuring the eardrum
- Getting the swab stuck in the ear
b. Earwax Candles
Earwax candles are used to clean the ear canal by putting a conical wax-coated cloth into the ear canal. The individual then sets fire to the exposed end of the cloth. Doing this can result to:
- Burns to the skin
- Wax blockage in the ear
- Fire in the home
- Holes in the membrane between the ear canal and middle ear
- A perforated eardrum
Inserting any object straight into the ear is never a good idea, since it can cause damage and push earwax deeper.
Also, cleaning the ears too frequently can remove wax that protects them from bacteria and other debris.
In a Nutshell
Earwax is necessary for keeping the ears clean and free of dirt and bacteria. The majority of the time, earwax will exit the body on its own.
The safest and most effective option to clear a blockage is to have the extra wax removed by a doctor or medical practitioner.
For further information, get in touch with Perfect Hearing. We provide hearing solutions in Malaysia and spread awareness of the importance of hearing care.