The human ear is a very delicate organ and even as we try to clean out the wax from the ear precaution has to be taken to avoid damaging the ear or any of its components. The ear through its own mechanisms produces wax which on its own acts as an agent for trapping small objects so that they don’t enter the ear to damage the eardrum and other delicate components of the ear.
Carrying out ear cleaning at home
As it is a matter of personal hygiene, ear cleaning should be carried out on a regular basis and as prescribed by a professional. The availability of objects to assist you in cleaning your ears and the common knowledge about the process itself has led a general uptrend in the procedure. Whenever you feel your ear itch it is highly advisable not to enter anything in it as it may be the beginning of a rather unsafe exercise that is likely to bring you more damage than initially expected.
Earwax also known as cerumen may seem unpleasant to you but let this not bother you a sit has a rather important biological importance and that is to trap the small insects from entering the ear canal. Only an excess of the ear wax can be removed and the removal should be done in the prescribed procedure using the relevant materials.
Unless the earwax causes blockage of the ear canal then the best course of action is not removing it hence keeping the entry of tiny objects to the ear canal to the minimum hence no risk of malfunctioning of the objects in the ear. The glands responsible for wax production are located on the skin lining the ear canal. Among the functions of wax is waterproofing the ear, skin coating of the ear canal, protecting the ear against infections and injury by repelling water. The wax also protects the skin and majorly keeps it moist ensuring it does not dry up to itch.
For most people the wax production exercise is a self sustaining process that ensures there is a build up of wax forcing the dried up wax outside the ear and with the dried wax comes the trapped foreign trapped bodies that need to be expelled form the ear. However for other people this process does not take place effectively and hence there is need to assist the process by introducing an object to remove the wax.
As for stuck objects, you shouldn’t try removing them by yourself as they may be removed by a qualified ear nose and throat (ENT) practitioner who would identify the magnitude of the risk and select the best method to proceed with to minimize the risk of damaging the ear.
Ear cleaning procedure
Before going to the ear cleaning process it is important to know whether you have all the required supplies to complete the task faster and safely. Ear cleaning solutions containing hydrogen peroxide (about 3 to 4% hydrogen peroxide), cotton swabs and an ear syringe can be obtained from a drugstore near you.
A variety of ear cleaning procedure are available that can be employed for also a number of ear cleaning products are available from your local drugstore. Among the methods include; ear cleaning by hydrogen peroxide, a home ear cleaning things, ear cleaning candle and the use of a curette.
Cleaning with hydrogen peroxide works on the principle of dissolving the dried wax hence ease in removing it. The procedure begins with filling the syringe with the ear cleaning solution. The next step is tilting your head so that the ear faces the top in position that you are comfortable in most preferred position would be laying on your side. With the end of the syringe aimed inside the ear cavity, squirt some few drops of the ear cleaning solution into the ears. This would feel a little uncomfortable, and you will hear some popping or fizzing sound.
Holding the cotton swab in your ear, allow the fluid to drain out of the ear but care should be taken so that the cotton isn’t pressed into the ear. Repeat the procedure for the other ear and depending on the level of wax build up carry out this process regularly. In the absence of hydrogen peroxide solution, natural oil can be used for ear wax removal.
A home ear cleaning kit is available from most drugstores. The irrigation kit contains a plastic bulb that is filled with warm water. When the plastic bulb has been filled with warm water, tilt the ear to face upwards and introduce the tip of the bulb into the ear canal and squeeze it gently so that the warm water can be released into the canal. Remove the bulb and shake your head now with the ear facing downwards so that the water can be expelled out of the ear with the excess wax.
When a home wax removal exercise proves futile then the best course of action will be seeing a medical doctor. Also on having continued severe pain, which may translate to hearing loss or ear drainage then you need to see a doctor.
A curette is highly recommended for the removal of wax from someone’s ears. The device is a simple curved tool mostly used by ENT specialists or ear clean-up doctor to remove wax and foreign bodies from the ear canal without risking causing damage to the eardrum. Unlike the use of cotton swabs and other pointed devices, a curette is curved hence there very little chance that the eardrum will be pricked. In serious cases a practicing and licensed ear specialist has to be consulted especially in cases where there is high build up the wax.
Cotton buds and swab can also be employed in effective removal of the ear wax. However extreme caution needs to be taken as carrying out the procedure wrongly may lead to pushing of the wax further into the ear canal and this is likely to negatively impact the natural way of functioning of the ear.
When an improper wax removal technique is employed, a number of complications may arise including; Tinnitus, vertigo, Menier’s disease, infection and inflammation of the outer ear canal, damaging of the tympanic membrane and very serious cases loss of hearing.
The ear wax cleaning on the outer ear can be effectively done using a damp cloth wrapped on your finger or tissue paper. The cloth can be soaked in a little oil to prevent the wax from drying buy you shouldn’t do this vigorously as the skin lining the ear is tender and can be damaged easily.