For many people, brushing their ears is a habit developed over the years. This simple manipulation seems as common as brushing your teeth. However, few people brush their ears properly: the information about it comes at a time when it is too late to do anything about it. Improper brushing can lead to otitis media, hearing loss, damage to the eardrum and even cardiac arrest.
However, there is another position. Many professionals claim that you don’t have to clean your ears at all at home.
Should I clean my ears at all?
It is believed that the ear is a self-cleaning organ. This is partly true: the earwax, which everybody tries to remove as thoroughly as possible, actually has a protective function. It prevents infections, dust and water from entering the ear canals. When you remove wax, you destroy the protective barrier. In a healthy body, this substance should be excreted as much as necessary, and its excess should drain into your ear canals and wash out when you shower. However, under some circumstances, wax becomes too much:
- Infectious diseases;
- Increased sweating;
- Inflammatory processes in the middle ear area;
- High blood cholesterol;
- Chronic stress, which increases the secretion of cerumen glands;
- Constant wearing of headphones.
- In addition, wax is excreted more in hot seasons, in a bad environment or a lot of dust in the room.
How to clean the ears of a healthy person
The ability of the ears to clean themselves does not mean that you can forget about hygiene. Quite the opposite: minimal and regular cleaning of the ears is necessary. The best way to proceed is as follows:
- While showering or washing your head, rinse your ear lobes and the area around your ears. You should not stick your fingers into the ear canal, as your task is only to soften the wax as much as possible.
- Rub the inside of the ear drum thoroughly with a towel or piece of absorbent cotton, removing any debris from all folds.
- Wrap your index finger around a cotton pad and use it to remove any wax residue from the ear canal, without pushing your finger too far in.
- Why shouldn’t you use cotton swabs? They go too deep, even if you think you are in complete control. In this case, the risk is not even that you can injure the eardrum, although such a danger should not be excluded. It is the fact that gradually you push a small amount of wax inside. Every month more and more of it is accumulated, it gets tamped down and turns into a solid plug, which must always be removed.
How to remove a wax plug
The presence of wax plugs in the ears can only be diagnosed by an otolaryngologist. You should pay attention to some of the symptoms: constant noise in the ears, pain in the ear canals, a feeling of distension, a feeling of recoil of your own voice during speech. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you probably have plugs, but it is still a good idea to visit your ENT to get an accurate diagnosis.
Sulfur plugs can have both the consistency of plasticine and be hard as a stone. In the latter case, there may be a parallel inflammatory process, so such a plug in no case can be removed yourself.
The main method of removing the wax plug is to soften and flush it out. Within 2-3 days, you should put in the ears one of the preparations prescribed by the otolaryngologist. Direct washing is carried out in the hospital: the softened wax mass is actually flushed out of the ear cavity with liquid.
If you have a small wax plug, the doctor may allow you to get rid of it at home as well. To do this, you should limit yourself to just a drop in the ears (soda solution, hydrogen peroxide, or a ready-made medical product), after which the plug itself will come out of the passage in the next few days.
How to clean a child’s ears
If for an adult, proper hygiene of the ears quickly becomes habitual manipulation, a child in this matter requires a special approach. The main principle is that less is better. Caring Mommy often looks at the ear buds of his baby and rushes to remove all the accumulated wax. Of course, you can not do this.
Baby cotton swabs (with an enlarged soft tip) should also be used with caution, not to screw them in and not to rub them too hard. It is enough after bathing to put the stick gently to the ear canal and let the soaked impurities soak in.
In both babies and adults, the main natural mechanism for removing wax from the ears is jaw movement. This is why too much wax can build up in a baby: heavy breast or bottle sucking makes it worse. But even this is not a reason to be over-zealous in cleaning the ears: in the first 1-2 years of your baby’s life, try to keep the procedure to a minimum.
How to remove ear wax with massage movements
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give much thought to your ear wax. But did you know that this waxy substance plays an important role in keeping your ears healthy?
Ear wax helps to protect your ears from dust, dirt, and other foreign particles. It also helps to keep your ears lubricated and prevents them from becoming too dry.
Unfortunately, ear wax can also build up over time and become hard and difficult to remove. This can lead to ear pain, hearing loss, and other problems.
Fortunately, there are a few simple techniques you can use to massage ear wax out of your ears. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
1. Start by softening the ear wax. You can do this by placing a warm, damp cloth over your ear for a few minutes. This will help to loosen the wax and make it easier to remove.
2. Next, use your fingers to gently massage the ear wax. Start at the top of your ear and work your way down. Be sure to use a light touch so you don’t damage your ear.
3. Once the ear wax is loosened, use a cotton swab to remove it. Gently insert the swab into your ear and twist it back and forth. Be sure not to insert the swab too far into your ear.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all of the ear wax is removed.
5. Finish up by rinsing your ear with warm water. This will help to remove any leftover ear wax and prevent infection.
If you’re having trouble removing ear wax, you can also try using an ear wax removal kit. These kits usually come with a small suction device that can help to remove the wax.
If you still can’t get rid of the ear wax, or if you experience pain, swelling, or bleeding, you should see a doctor.