It used to be that sticking a cotton bud into our ear was all we knew about caring for that body part. With the knowledge gained from study and experience, we now know that it’s not the best way. There are different steps to take on the best way to clean your ears. Here are some of the best ways from the hearing care clinic in Victoria BC.
The main reason we clean our ears is because of wax buildup. Cerumen, the other name for earwax, is a substance produced by the ear to lubricate, trap debris, and provide an antifungal and antibacterial substance. Without cerumen, our ears will become dry and itchy. It will also prevent the trapping of dust, dirt, bacteria, and other foreign bodies that can enter the ear.
You probably have been told by now that a cotton bud is not the best way to clean your ears. For one, it can push the cerumen into the ear canal, where it can build up and become impacted. With this blockage also comes a partial loss of hearing, as the eardrum is not able to vibrate as freely as it should. Your normal everyday routine of talking and chewing food is actually a mechanism for cleaning your ear. This movement of the jaw cause excess cerumen to travel to the outside of the ear, where it is wiped off when you wash yourself. For the outside of the ear, a moist cloth is best for cleaning.
In case excessive wax buildup cause impaction, the best recourse is to see a doctor. But there are ways you can try to get the buildup out yourself. You can try irrigating the ear canal with water-filled syringe, or use over-the-counter wax softening drops. Baby oil is also effective in removing ear wax. With excessive wax buildup, you can use a cotton swab, but bear in mind that you should not insert it deep into the ear canal.
Hearing aids are known to promote wax buildup, as the device is inserted into the ear, thus preventing excess cerumen from draining naturally. Note too that as one ages, the consistency of cerumen changes, meaning older people are more susceptible to excess wax buildup.
If you have diabetes, have a history of ear infections, or notice changes in hearing (sometimes accompanied by dizziness), consult your doctor on the best way to clean your ears.
Contact the Hearing Care Clinic for hearing aids in Victoria BC.