Do you know the correct way to keep your ears clean? Almost all of us have earwax in our ears. It provides the necessary function of preventing dirt and dust getting into our ear canals, as well as providing protection against water and bacteria.
However, sometimes our ears can overproduce earwax. As well as looking unpleasant, this can sometimes lead to blockages, causing difficulty hearing and general discomfort.
When clearing out your ears, it’s important that you use the right methods so that you don’t damage your ear or make the situation worse. Here are just a few tips for keeping your ears clean.
Don’t use cotton buds
As a general rule, you should never stick anything in your ear canal. While many people use cotton buds to get rid of earwax, this can often push wax further into the ear. This causes impactions, which are difficult to remove.
Only use cotton buds to clean excess wax that is around the ear. Never put them in your actual ear – the same goes for tissues, bobby pins and fingers.
Take car with earphones/earplugs/hearing aids
Of course, there are some things that we put in our ears that aren’t for the purpose of cleaning them out. This includes earphones, earplugs and hearing aids. When worn for long periods these can all lead to overproduction of earwax – it’s our body’s natural way of forcing these foreign bodies out.
Try not to wear earphones (especially in-ear earphones) for long periods if you can and take care with earplugs. As for hearing aid which may need to be worn constantly, you can learn more online about how to get around excess earwax build-up. There could possibly be other options such as switching to overhead headphone, overhead ear protection or behind-the-ear hearing aids.
Ear drops are one of the best ways to get rid of earwax that has become hard or impacted. This ointment softens up ear wax so that it more easily comes out.
Eardrops can be found in most pharmacies. There are many DIY alternatives to eardrops that you can also try such as olive oil, mineral oil or hydrogen peroxide.
Use warm water
You can clean your ears out by using warm water simply by placing your ear under the shower or by dipping your head under the water in the bath.
If you’re experiencing impacted earwax (i.e. a blockage) it could be worth using eardrops first and then using a bulb syringe to clean out your ears with warm water. This is a technique used by audiologists.
Always try to get the water out afterwards – water trapped in the ear could lead to an infection.
Visit a doctor/audiologist
If you’ve got a blockage that you can’t get rid of, it could be beneficial to speak to a doctor or an audiologist. This could be particularly necessary if you’re also experiencing pain or noticing unusual discharge as there could be an infection or a foreign body in there. Specialist ear drops will be needed if you have an infection.