The ear is a delicate and intricate area, including the skin of the ear canal and the eardrum, your ears can become clogged when too much earwax (cerumen) accumulates inside them. Ear wax is an important part of your body’s natural defense system for keeping dirt, bacteria and other things out of your ears, too much earwax can decrease your hearing ability. Ear Swabs are most commonly used for ear cleaning, they do much more harm than good, and excessive ear cleaning will almost certainly land you in the clinic.
When should we Clean our Ears
Normal amounts of ear wax serves as a self-cleaning agent with protective, lubricating, and antibacterial properties. Old earwax is constantly being transported, assisted by chewing and jaw motion, from the ear canal to the ear opening where it usually dries, flakes, and falls out. The ears should be cleaned when enough earwax accumulates to cause symptoms or to prevent a needed assessment of the ear by your doctor. This condition is call cerumen impaction, and may cause one or more of the following symptoms:-
- Earache, fullness in the ear, or a sensation the ear is plugged
- Partial hearing loss, which may be progressive
- Tinnitus, ringing, or noises in the ear
- Itching, odor, or discharge
Ear Cleaning Technique
- Home Treatment. Most cases of ear wax blockage respond to home treatments used to soften wax. Patients can try placing a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin, or commercial drops in the ear. Detergent drops such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide may also aid in the removal of wax. Once a week before bedtime, fill an eyedropper with olive, mineral, or baby oil. Put up to three drops inside each ear, and massage the triangle of cartilage that covers your ear to coat your ear canal. Follow up with a cotton ball to keep the oil off your pillowcase. The next day when you’re in the shower, place hydrogen peroxide on your hand and rub it into your ear. The peroxide will bubble out, taking the softened wax with it and leaving you wax
- Irrigation. Irrigation or ear syringing is commonly used for cleaning and can be performed by a physician or at home using a commercially available irrigation kit. Common solutions used for syringing include water and saline, which should be warmed to body temperature to prevent dizziness. Ear syringing is most effective when water, saline, or wax dissolving drops are put in the ear canal 15 to 30 minutes before treatment. Avoid having your ears irrigated if you have diabetes, a perforated eardrum, tube in the eardrum, or a weakened immune system.
- Manual Ear Wax Removal. Manual removal of earwax is also effective. This is most often performed by an otolaryngologist using suction, special miniature instruments, and a microscope to magnify the ear canal. Manual removal is preferred if your ear canal is narrow, the eardrum has a perforation or tube, other methods have failed, or if you have diabetes or a weakened immune system.