Everyone has usually cleaned their ears by poking into them with cotton wool bud sticks or the corners of towels for as long as they can remember then wonder why their ears are becoming blocked with irritating plugs of compacted ear wax. Unwittingly they are pushing the wax deeper into the ear canal where the wax, medically known as cerumen, begins to become compacted and hard resulting in partial or complete hearing loss. Others experience the disturbing whistling and whining of tinnitus as the wax pressurizes the eardrum. At last, interest in the general health of ears is becoming far more widespread with information emerging on the most beneficial methods of cleaning the ear.
A Normal Action
Producing wax is a perfectly normal function of the ear. It serves to protect the eardrum by providing a degree of lubrication and moisture. Without the wax, the ear would be uncomfortably dry and irritated. The wax also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to help keep the deeper areas of the ear free from infection. It also helps to prevent objects, dust or hair settling into the ear. Removing all of it would not be any more helpful than keeping too much. The ear tends not to produce an excess of wax as it is self-cleaning, regulating the amount by its steady progress to the outer ear when the jaw is in motion. Daily cleaning is more beneficial if it is restricted to wiping the outer ear as part of your usual hygiene routine.
When You Need Help
Occasionally there is bound to be a build up of ear wax if it is not wiped away sufficiently or it becomes embedded in the ear canal. Previously, ear wax plugs were removed by a doctor through syringing where a powerful blast of water forced the wax out. This often left patients with a level of tinnitus and in rare cases could even cause the eardrum to perforate. Hardened ear wax can impair your hearing so it does need to be removed but there are various methods you can use.
Cleaning Methods To Remove Wax
You can purchase ear drops to soften the wax before waiting for it to work its way out. A version of this you can try at home is warming a few drops of olive oil which you place into the ear. The warmth from the oil should melt the wax slightly before it can be dislodged. However, it can be a very messy task.
Much easier methods are ear irrigation which uses a gentle spray of water to tease the wax safely out of the ear canal although this method is not suitable for problems such as perforated eardrums. Microsuction is a safe and clean method that effectively sucks the offending wax out without causing any harm to the ear. If your ears need a deep clean, Hear 4 U will be happy to help.