Earache- Ahhh! Even the thought of it gives me shivers. We all are aware of the fact that how painful earache can be. It is during earache, we realize how much for granted we have neglected our ear health. If we talk about kids, then for them the intensity of ear pain is big.
Just like with changing seasons and weathers we take care of our skin. In a similar manner, we need to take care of our ears. Especially, as the summer is approaching and the vacation period is around the corner, we all love to take showers. We also engage ourselves in water sports, go travelling, enjoy food festivals and music concerts as well.
Be it any social event as per the culture of the subcontinent or through the headphone, we all love enjoying the beat of the music. In fact, we love to go to such dining places that have good music. These activities may seem fun and all, but little do we realize that this continuous high music is deteriorating our hearing health
Not just music, our daily habits and other hidden health issues can have a huge impact on what we do with our ear health. Hence it becomes quite important to take extra care of our ears in summers.
In this article, we are going to talk about how to clean ears and more particularly how to clean earwax.
If you have more questions like these such as how to clean ears? How to clean ear at home naturally? How to clean earwax? How to clean earwax at home naturally? How to simply clean ear at home? How to clean blocked etc than this article is for you. So, let’s first have a look at what is earwax.
What is Ear Wax?
But, before we dig deeper on how to clean earwax or how to clean blocked ears, you need to know about earwax. Earwax is also known as cerumen and it is not harmful as you may think. You would be easily able to get to know how to clean earwax at home. But, now talking about the importance of earwax, it is naturally produced by your body for numerous essential functions.
Earwax helps in the protective mechanism of the body. It helps to trap the dust, particles of dirt, dead cells of the skin and then eventually filtering all of them out from the inner ear and eardrum. In the case of the ear canals, it helps ear canals by lubricating them thus preventing them from dryness and itchiness.
However, at times the production of earwax is out of control due to one or many other reasons such as the following:
- Ear infections
- Not properly cleaning hearing aids
- Overuse of the Q-tips or any other objects to clean earwax.
- Genetic issues such as lupus, hairy ears, osteoma, narrow canals and eczema.
However, an excessive amount of earwax can cause:
- Difficulty in hearing
- Ringing in the ear
- Itching in the ear
- Pain in the ear
- Trap bacteria thus causing ear infections
Earwax Blockage Symptoms
Why and how to clean blocked ear becomes very important because of the symptoms of the earwax blockage that are:
- Leakage or ear drainage
- Extreme itching
- Ringing in the ear or tinnitus
- Partial loss of hearing
- The feeling of fullness in the ear etc
Risk Factors of Earwax and Other Ear Issues in Summer
There is not a single factor but many factors collectively that can harm your ears especially in summers which are:
- Continuous exposure to loud noises– Noise pollution without a doubt is and has been quite harmful to the ears. Therefore, try not to listen to loud music and stay away from the speakers at the concert.
- Excessive Use of the Air Conditioning (AC) – When there is a sudden change in the temperature or when there is a temperature difference indoor and outdoor, it leads to sore throat, voice problems, pharyngitis and ear infections. For this very reason, audiologists and ENT specialists do not recommend using AC for long.
- Pressure Difference or Sudden Change in the Pressure– You might suffer from mild to severe ear damage due to the sudden change in the pressure. For example, you might be travelling via aeroplane or doing scuba diving, both of these may cause discomfort for your ears due to a sudden change in the pressure. In order to avoid such discomfort audiologists recommend that while on the plane you can chew gums or sweets. You can also opt for earplugs particularly to prevent ringing in the ear or tinnitus. In the case of suffering from a cold, you need to take the advice of your doctor.
- Use of Cigarette and Alcohol– Both of these are deteriorating for your health as the toxic substances can negatively affect your hearing ability. This can also cause high blood pressure issue in you.
- Immersion in the Water– It is one of the leading causes of ear infections in the summer. Summer’s ear or otitis externa is one of the common ear infections of the summer. The bacterial growth in the ear is encouraged due to the moisture present in the ear. You can easily find the earwax along with the moisture. It can cause discomfort and even hearing loss. Hence, for this very reason, swimming caps and earplugs are recommended to avoid entering the water in the ear canal thus causing ear issues.
Best Practices for How Clean your Ears
Now, the next time you are thinking of how to clean your ears at home or particularly how to clean earwax at home, you need to be mindful of many things. How to take earwax does not necessarily need a visit, for example, if your situation is not very serious, you can easily clean your ears at home.
Visiting an ear doctor is one of the best and safest methods to remove the excess buildup of earwax. While visiting an audiologist or ENT specialist for the first time, your medical health officer would be using some special instruments to remove the earwax such as a suction device, forceps or cerumen spoon in order to clear out the blockage of the ear.
However, if you are further thinking about how to clean ear at home here are some safest, simple and effective ways:
1. Using a Clean Damp Piece of Cloth
You’d easily know and feel when too much earwax is built up in your ear. In case of outside the ears, you can gently clean it using a clean washcloth. In the case of cotton swabs, you shouldn’t use them as they may push the earwax deeper into your ear canal. You can use the cotton swabs on the outer side of your ear. Make sure to know about it the next time you are thinking about how to clean ears at home naturally.
2. Use of Earwax Softener
There are certain solutions or over-the-counter ear drops that you can use in order to soften your earwax. These solutions include
- Baby oil
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Mineral Oil
All you need is, use a specific amount of solutions into your ear, wait for a certain time, then you need to drain it and then properly rinse it out from your ear. Make sure to properly follow the instructions of the solution. In case of any emergency, make sure to call your medical health office as soon as possible. How to clean ears is one of the basic necessities of life.
You can also use the earwax removal kit that is available in your house. Avoid using anything that can hurt your ears.
3. Use of the Syringe to Clean your Earwax
There are ear syringes that help you in irrigating your ear. In this procedure, all you need is saline or water via which you need to gently rinse your ears. It is an effective method especially if you are using some type of wax softener for about 15-30 min before irrigating your ears. In order. avoid dizziness, you need to warm the solution before this procedure.
Things You Need to Avoid While Cleaning Your Ear
The time and duration of cleaning your ear vary from person to person. Some might not need to clean their ears regularly. The wax can be impacted, if you are using the napkin corners, cotton swabs, bobby pins etc, for all of these things can be pushed deeper in your ear canal, making it difficult to clean the earwax.
You should never use any sharp objects to damage your ears and can lead to hearing loss. Moreover, also avoid irrigating your ears if:
- You suffer from a hole in your eardrum
- You have a weak immune system
- You suffer from diabetes
- You have tubes in the affected area
In most cases, you don’t need to visit a doctor as generally in many people only a sufficient amount of earwax is produced that protects them from ear infections and dirt. Some people have normal overproduction of earwax. But, in the case of earache, pain and hearing difficulty, you need to consult your doctor before the situation gets worse.
Make sure to not skip your regular visits to your ENT specialist, use proper earplugs, avoid or minimize your exposure to loud noises, take a decongestant as per your doctor’s recommendation before boarding planes and keep your ears dry after doing any water sport.
Follow all these simple tips so that you enjoy every season without getting worried about your ear.