DIY Ear-cleaning Guide
Ordinarily our ears clean themselves. The outer part of the ear canal secretes earwax, officially called cerumen, in order to trap water, dust, and bacteria. The earwax gradually migrates to the ear's opening, where it falls out or is washed away, carrying foreign particles with it. This self-cleaning process works fine for most everybody, but some people produce excess earwax that builds up and eventually hardens, resulting in discomfort and hearing impairment. Hardened earwax can also irritate the fragile tissues of the ear canal.
To remove hardened earwax yourself, follow these eight simple steps:
1) Start with a few drops of mineral oil or over-the-counter eardrops.
2) Tilt your head sideways and tug the earlobe gently to open the canal wider as you put in the drops.
3) Place a cotton ball in the ear opening and keep the ear facing up for five minutes.
4) Remove the cotton and tip your head to allow for drainage.
5) Repeat with the other ear if necessary.
6) Apply the drops twice a day for several days until the earwax softens and is released.
7) For stubborn earwax, use a commercial earwax-removal system, available at pharmacies. Follow the directions on the package carefully, applying the eardrops for several days, then flushing the ear with water, using the enclosed syringe.
8) For greater comfort when using eardrops, first warm the container in a bowl of tepid water (but not if the drops contain antibiotics).
If your ears still feel full, it's time to seek medical help. Your doctor may prescribe stronger eardrops to soften the earwax, or he may remove it himself with special instruments or a suction device.
Never try to dig earwax out of your ear with a cotton swab. Doing so only pushes the wax farther into the ear canal and could damage the eardrum.
Anyone who has had a perforated (torn or punctured) eardrum or any type of ear surgery should avoid eardrops unless they have been prescribed by a doctor. Otherwise, it is possible that the drops will seep into the middle ear and cause a serious infection. The same goes for children who have had special tubes implanted in their ears to prevent chronic ear infections.
Some people have an allergic reaction to over-the-counter eardrops or even to prescription products. If the drops you use ever cause pain, burning, redness, or swelling in the ear, discontinue use and call your doctor without delay.
Tags: Diy , Ears , Cleaning Guide , Ear
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