When taking care of our bodies, most of us know the importance of exercise, checkups, and balanced diets. However, we tend to ignore our ears until they develop problems. Here are some tips that will help you to take care of them:
How to Clean Your Ears
Because ears are self-cleaning, you do not need to insert Q-tips inside them to clean. Wax forms near the external part of your ear, which means that you will not find it deep inside the ear canal. When you leave it alone, the wax will migrate out of your ear by itself.
However, when you start inserting Q-tips in your ear, they push the wax deeper into the canal. Over time, this might cause trauma to your eardrum or canal wall. To prevent this, you should let nature run its course and clean the outside part of your ear only.
When wax blocks the ear canal completely, it becomes a major concern. To know whether your ear has wax impaction, you should look out for the following symptoms:
- Feeling of fullness in the ear
- Ringing in the ear
- Odor, itching, and discharge
- Changes in hearing sensitivity
Are the above symptoms are familiar to you? Schedule an appointment with your doctor. If earwax is the culprit, your doctor can get rid of it.
Preventing Wax Impaction
If your ears naturally produce a lot of wax, you can take the following steps to prevent complete impaction:
Irrigate your ear – buy an at-home irrigation kit from your local drug store and follow the instructions. The best place to irrigate your ears is in the shower: just allow warm water to sit in your ears before letting it out. To get the best results, you should use a wax-softening agent before getting into the shower.
Use wax-softening agent – you can use a wax-softening agent such as baby oil or mineral oil at least once a week. Softer earwax will flow out more easily.
You should also schedule a wax removal every six to twelve months with your doctor. While there, it would be prudent to undergo several hearing tests as seen here.
Things You Should Not Do
To maintain healthy hearing, you should avoid doing the following:
- Ear candling, which can actually result in serious injuries
- Sticking any object that is smaller than your elbow inside the ear
Earwax and Hearing Aids
Your hearing aid will not work if your ear if full of wax. Earwax can clog the receivers and microphones of your hearing device thus affecting its performance. When you first start using hearing aids, you might notice an increase in the amount of wax in your ears, which is normal.
Hearing aids usually stimulate some ear glands, which causes them to produce more wax.
Make sure that you clean your hearing aids properly to avoid problems. If you use wax softeners or irrigate your ears, you should do so before bed after taking off your hearing aids. Before reinserting your hearing aids in the morning, wipe the outer surface of your ear to clean any wax that might have moved during the night.
This infection occurs when water with fungi and bacteria is trapped inside the ear. Symptoms include a feeling of fullness, itchiness, and pain that worsens with tugging of the ear. To keep water from getting into your ear during swimming, you should make eardrops using vinegar and rubbing alcohol or use a special spray to protect your hearing before getting into the water.
Follow the above tips to ensure proper ear health. You should also schedule an annual ear exam.