How to clean ears

Do you find yourself somewhat confused when it comes to figuring out how to clean ears? If so, you aren’t nearly alone. It only takes a quick, superficial internet search to see that there are many opinions on the matter, so how do you know which is the correct one? The best way to decide is to learn about each particular process to see which best works for your comfort level and personal situation.

Learn About The Different Ways of How To Clean Ears

Like many people, you probably aren’t quite sure how to clean out your ears. Perhaps you have heard that you shouldn’t do it one way because it’s dangerous, or maybe another method sounds great, but you are afraid of not doing it correctly. Go online and do some reading, and you will see that it seems everyone has an opinion on how to clean ears properly, so which one is the best? And which ones should be avoided at all costs?

The cleaning tool a majority of people turn to when it comes to clearing out excess wax is the cotton swab. Sometimes called Q-Tips — a proprietary eponym coming from the popular brand — these flexible sticks with a cotton bulb at the end are inserted into the ear and moved around in order to collect cerumen. Once accepted as the best (and possibly only) way for cleansing, the cotton swab now faces considerable backlash. Medical professionals argue that the swabs are quite dangerous and that they actually hurt more than help when it comes to wax removal. While some of the sticky substance does indeed adhere to the cotton when it is swiped around the canal, doctors say that more of the waxy composition is inadvertently pushed further into the channel. The consequence of this is compacted cerumen, wherein so much wax gathers that it creates a plug of sorts. These plugs can lead to temporary hearing loss, pain, itching and infection.

In addition to causing a clog of wax, cotton swabs may also cause abrasions within the ear if they are used improperly. Pushing these sticks too far into the canal can lead to a ruptured ear drum, and attempting to “scrape” away wax from tender walls can lead to irritation and lacerations. Many people don’t realize how sensitive the inner ear is, and it only takes one bad or hasty move to cause a major problem. For these reasons, it is suggested that if you are going to use swabs, you only use them to clean the outermost portions of your flesh and never allow them to enter the canal.

Another method of cleansing ears involves the use of hydrogen peroxide. The liquid is squirted or poured into the ear, allowed to fizzle for several minutes and then expelled by tipping the head to the side. Now that you know how to clean your ears with hydrogen peroxide, you probably want to know whether or not the method is safe.

When compared to shoving pointing pieces of plastic into your ears, using hydrogen peroxide is much safer. The mixture is virtually non-toxic in small quantities, it does not cause pain and it is relatively easy to handle. The only discomfort you may experience when using this method comes from the bubbling that will occur when the peroxide is poured into the ear. As this sensation is not one you are used to, you may find that it is overwhelming.

Hydrogen peroxide works by loosening or dissolving earwax. When allowed to sit in the ear for five to ten minutes, the mixture does a wonderful job of reaching wax that is far out of reach. Clean up is easy: you simply tip your head to the side over a wash basin and allow the dirtied liquid to drip out.

For all its convenience and effectiveness, the use of peroxide does not come without risks. Just as overwashing your hands can lead to dryness, itchiness and cracking, cleaning your ears with this mixture can do the same. Furthermore, there have been reported cases of burst eardrums caused by the liquid seeping behind a wax plug and creating too much pressure.

One last method to explore when contemplating how to clean out ears is the use of an irrigation system. As its name would suggest, ear irrigation uses water or another cleanser to wash out the canal. Among all the ways you can wash ears, this method is the safest. When you use only water, there is little to no risk of excessive drying of skin and water will not irritate any injured skin you may have. On the same note, as you will only be using water, you may find this process to be the least effective than of them all.

Determining The Best Method on How To Clean Ears

clean your earsPractically speaking, there is no such thing as “the best” method for cleaning ears; what it really comes down to is which method works best for you. If you do not suffer from excessive cerumen, using a cotton swab or tissue paper to clear away wax around the rim of your ear may be just fine. If you don’t have issues with wax plugs and you can stand the fizzles that come with using hydrogen peroxide, this method may be the one to use. And lastly, if you want to play things as safe as possible, irrigation is your best bet.

As you can see, when you ask the question, “how to clean my ears”, the answer is not a universal one, but rather one that is determined by considering your own special circumstances; what may work for you may not work for others, and vice versa.

How to clean your ears properly is subjective. The most important thing to consider when searching for the answer is your own comfort. As with most things in life, if you are scared of cleaning your ears or simply don’t like the process because it is too complicated or time consuming, you are more likely to skip it, and that doesn’t help you at all. Give yourself a little quiz about your likes, dislikes, time constraints and patience, and you will easily find which method of how to clean ears will work best for your lifestyle.