Ear is an important organ of our body. It is the organ of hearing and balance. It picks up sound waves, convert them into electrical impulses and send to the brain where they are processed.
A regular check-up is an excellent way to keep general health of your ears. Ear cleaning is required only in extreme circumstances such as when an individual produces too much ear wax. It needs to be cleared to prevent cerumen impaction. The symptoms that characterise cerumen impaction include fullness of ear, earache, sensation the ear is plugged, ringing or other noises in the ear, ear drainage or discharge, an odour coming from affected ear, fever and sometimes coughing. Although ear cleaning is best carried out by or at least in consultation with a doctor but there are several safe and easy ways you can perform yourself at home.
Always remember to follow safe protocols when clearing the ears at home:
· Clear your ears with a damp warm clean and soft cloth daily. You can do it while taking bath or shower. Dry afterwards thoroughly. It will clean away excess or leaking earwax. It will also help to soften earwax.
· In case you are feeling excessive build-up of earwax, put some oil drops into them. Household oils such as baby oil or olive oil are effective and safe options. You may also buy earwax removal oils from the drugstores. Oil can soften the hard and impacted earwax. Tilt your head to one side and put five to ten drops of oil into the affected ear. Hold this position for at least 15 minutes. It will soften the stubborn wax and help to alleviate the blockage. Then using irrigation syringe to flush the earwax out along with the excess oil. Irrigation syringe are not sharp as they sound. They usually come in bulb shape to store fluid. Use them to irrigate the ear using only warm or body temperature water. Otherwise it can cause dizziness. If the earwax is still persistent, visit a hearing health care provider for professional removal.
· You need not have to routinely clean your ears with irrigation syringe technique. Your ears have inbuilt self-cleaning mechanism, so clean them with this method only when required.
· According to ear specialists, do not stick anything into your ear smaller than your elbow. It means the practice of using hairpins or house keys should not be carried out at all. Inserting of cotton swab into your ear is also not recommended as it can actually push impacted earwax deeper into the ear canal. It may cause a serious blockage and harm to ear drum. It may also perforate the ear drum if inserted too deeply. Restrict its usage to clean the outside of the ear only.
· If you are suffering from diabetes, weak immune system or suspect perforated eardrum, do not clean your ear by using wax softeners and irrigation syringe. Visit an ear specialist in such cases.
· Ear candles have also proven a failure in removing earwax. Rather, they can exacerbate the problem if wax from the candle gets into then ear.
It is better to take care of ear health on a regular basis to avoid the need of any medical attention. All you have to do is to clean them daily with a warm damp cloth, go for regular ear check up and do regular exercise. Exercise especially cardiovascular exercise helps in proper functioning and maintenance of ear health by providing your ears with effective blood flow.