The low-down on ear cleaning.
What is earwax? It’s a substance produced by our bodies to essentially protect and lubricate the ear canal. Our ears are also naturally designed to clean themselves, which is aided by the act of chewing. While we munch on food throughout the day, it typically coaxes old earwax to make its way from the eardrum to the outer opening of your ear. Read on to find out 6 no-nos when it comes to protecting your ears, plus, details on the best way to clean them!
1. Cleaning them every day
The first mistake you might be making is cleaning your ears every single day. Although daily cleaning sounds like the perfect solution for clean ears, the regular rubbing and tugging of your ear canal irritates your delicate skin instead of efficiently cleaning it. It’s not necessary to get rid of your earwax every day so refrain from doing that daily!
2. Inserting a cotton bud deep down the ear canal
Cleaning your ears with cotton buds is often described as a pleasant experience, but it could actually worsen ear health! Instead of cleaning the dirt in your ears, these little tools might instead be pushing excess ear wax further down your ear canal. As amazing as cotton buds might feel, refrain from using them too often.
3. Inserting any sharp objects in your ear
Avoiding cotton buds doesn’t mean you can use other scraping tools such as bobby pins in your ears. These metal sticks can be very damaging to the soft and sensitive skin in your ear canal. So be nice to your ears and keep them far away from these sharp objects!
4. Being too aggressive
If you absolutely have to use a cotton bud, do not push the bud deep into your ear. Instead, focus on the outer edges of your ear canal and use a tiny scraping motions, instead of driving the bud directly down your ear canal.
5. Not cleaning the outer edges
Due to the self-cleaning mechanism of our ears, old and dried earwax often falls on the outer surface below our ear canal every once in a while. This is why it’s necessary to use a damp washcloth or tissue to lightly swipe against all the outer edges of your ear every other day. This will keep them squeaky clean!
6. Avoiding soaping them in the shower
The back of your ears needs some loving too! Don’t neglect washing them when you’re in the shower. Rub soap on the back of your ears gently and remember to rinse all the product out when you’re done.
Instead: Use ear drops
How then can we clean our ears? The safest way to get rid of any excess earwax is to use some eardrops. Found in supermarkets, ear drops come in a tiny bottle with a dropper tool that efficiently allows you to deposit a few drops of it in your ears.
To use it, simply lie down, or tilt your head to one side and release a few drops of the ear drops directly into your right ear canal. Let the product work for a few minutes as it softens the excess earwax. You can then turn your head over to the other side and place a tissue near the opening of your right ear so that it will soak up the ear drops that have effectively dissolved your earwax. Proceed with the same steps in the left ear. This is the safest and more efficient way to cleanse your ears without causing any irritation.
However, if you are facing constant discomfort or a tingling pain in your ears, visit a General Practitioner for the best advice.