Knowing the basics of caring for our ears will go a long way in protecting our hearing. The many do-it-yourself ear-cleaning methods actually do more harm than good.
Believe it or not, our ears are self-cleaning. It means we don’t have to clean them often. Plus, ear wax has nothing to do with our personal hygiene because the importance of ear wax in the outer ear canal provides protection, lubrication and has antibacterial properties.
Here are some safely clean reminders in cleaning our ears without damaging its flimsiness:
1. Do not clean your ears with twisted napkin corners, bobby pins, or any long pointed objects.
2. Place a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil, or commercial ear drops into the inner ear to soften the wax, which will allow it to come out more easily.
3. Use a syringe to get the solution into the ear canal, [the solution comes from a stream of water or saline (salt water)] but do not insert it too far, just a little drop. Let the solution sit in for 5 minutes then slowly turn your head empting the solution.
4. As much as possible, don’t have to ‘do it yourself’ because ENT (Ear, Nose, & Throat) doctors have special, safe instruments to vacuum ear wax to remove it.
5. If you work in a live or noisy environment, wear protective earmuffs or earplugs to avoid damage your hearing.
6. Every day medication can cause our ears to damage permanently like the frequent use of pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Better to consult your physician regarding any current medications for medical advice.
7. Quit smoking! The chemicals found in cigarettes may affect the way our ear processes sound. In fact, smokers have been found to be 15% more likely to have hearing loss than non-smokers.