Mansi asked: How do I clean the outer part and inside of my ears?
Though we try hard to remove the wax from our ears, it does have a purpose. This substance is a mixture of dirt, dead skin cells and mucus. It traps dirt and keeps it from entering the inner ear. When wax becomes hard, it can cause pain in the ears. When the wax is painful or there is an abundance of it, it may be necessary to remove it. Otherwise, a simple cleaning of the outer ear is sufficient and recommended for general hygiene. Both methods are covered here.
Cleaning the Inner Ear
This method is designed to remove wax build-up from the inner ear. It should be done no more than once per week. Cleaning too frequently can dry out the inner ear and lead to more problems. Do NOT use this method if you have any problems or irregularities with your ears.
You Will Need:
- Ear syringe
- Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
- Soft cloths or tissues
Steps to Clean Out Your Ears:
- Tilt your head to one side so that the ear is facing up. It may be helpful to rest your head on a pillow.
- Use the ear syringe to place a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into the ear.
- You will begin to hear and feel bubbling and popping. This is the result of the hydrogen peroxide coming in contact with the ear wax. It is normal and means the cleaning process is working.
- Allow the hydrogen peroxide to stay in the ear for several minutes or until the bubbling stops/slows down.
- To remove, simply turn your head over so the ear is facing down onto a soft cloth or tissue.
- Allow the hydrogen peroxide and loosened ear wax drain from the ear.
- Repeat with the other ear.
- Do not repeat in the same ear. It is recommended that this procedure be done no more than once per week.
Cleaning the Outer Ear
The outer ear is the part of the ear that can be seen. It includes the earlobe as well as the edges of the opening to the ear canal. It is safe to clean and should be part of your regular hygiene routine.
You Will Need:
- Soft cloth
- Cotton swabs
Steps to Clean the Outer Ear:
- Begin by moistening a soft cloth with warm water.
- Squeeze the cloth out so that it is only damp.
- Wipe the outer ear.
- Remember to clean behind your ears as well. While there is no waxy build up there, it can collect dead skin and develop a build up.
- Cotton swabs can be used to clean the folds of the outer ear. It is not recommended that you insert a cotton swab into the ear canal. This can push the wax further into the ear as well as damage the inner ear.
Additional Tips and Advice
- If you have regular problems with your ears, it may be wise to see an ear, nose and throat specialist to make sure there are no problems.
- Some find it easiest to clean out their ears after a shower. The heat and warm water softens the wax, allowing for easier removal.
- If the wax is hard and cannot be removed, it may be necessary to seek medical assistance to remove it.
- There are ear cleaning kits available to help remove wax build up.
- If there is no pain or problems, the wax inside of your ear is fine. Simply remove the wax that works its way to the outer ear and leave the rest to do its job of catching dirt and unwanted items from entering the ear canal.
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