Cleaning our ears is one serious and delicate business. Swabbing a tad too rough and deep will surely do harm to your sense of hearing. Although some believe that cotton swabs are safe to use for cleaning ears, it actually isn’t. Sticking anything foreign in the ear canal actually increases the risk of damaging the ear canal. Instead of taking out ear wax, cotton swabs can push excess ear wax deeper into the ear canal, leading to blockage, and ultimately, impaired hearing.
If using cotton swabs is not advisable, what then, would be the best method to use when ridding our ears of wax? Fortunately though, there are some relatively easy home remedies for ridding your ears of wax buildup.
1. Hydrogen Peroxide
If you haven’t come across hydrogen peroxide before, the name might make you nervous putting it inside your ear. Don’t worry, it won’t seep in and melt your brain. After a brief fizzing for 10 to 15 minutes, tilt your head into a sink, and the solution will drain out with the previously lodged wax from your ear.
2. Olive Oil
To think something used in preparing food could help you clean yourself might be a little hard at first, but olive oil actually has multiple productive uses. Adding a small amount of olive oil into your ear (two or three drops max) will further soften your earwax and make it work its way out. This is usually a very effective method leaving you with the need to do so only once a week.
It is very unsightly, but having earwax inside your ear actually keeps your canal lubricated and prevents bugs or fungus from taking up shop inside. However, if you do not want it collecting around the outside of your ears (which is also unsightly for those around you), a very effective method of cleaning is simply placing a tissue over your little finger and run it around your ear. Generally, your finger will be too large to push any earwax deeper into your canal. For the best results, do this after showering, as the warm water will have left the wax softened, making it easier to remove.
4. Ear Drops
Similar to drops for your eyes, several drops exist to remove earwax that are available over the counter. They also work towards softening the wax in order for it to be removed by tissue.
5. Specialised Tools
We all have ears, and we all have the desire to keep them as clean as possible. For decades, innovation in this particular field has been less than stellar (hence our dependence on cotton buds), but finally there has been work done in creating specialised tools for cleaning your ears safely. The new device gently rotates inside your ear to loosen up the wax, rather than forcing it further down your canal. To further ensure your safety, it also comes with a preventative safety cap, which makes it incapable of being inserted too far into your ear.
6. Consult a Professional
Have you been using cotton buds for a long time? Is your ear canal feeling rather blocked up with wax? Chances are you might have pushed down your earwax so far that it is damaging your hearing. To safely remove this build up, book an appointment with your general practitioner or Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, who will utilise industry-backed equipmentto give you a more thorough cleaning.
References: elitereaders.com, teammed.com.au