Lifestyle

Best home remedies for cleaning your ears

Are you looking for best home remedies to clean your ear? This article is what you need to read.

The human ear naturally produces earwax. It is a body lubrication that protects the inner ear. Normally people don’t need to clean their ears. But if this wax is overproduced, it needs a manual removal.

The earwax is medically called cerumen. Normally, it takes a long time for the earwax to leave the body. The movement of the jaw, especially chewing makes the ear wax away from the ear canal. It makes its way to the outer canal and thus it reaches to the outer ear. Once it dries, it is shed in the form of flakes.

The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO–HNS) tells that ear wax has an antibacterial potential. It may be a nature’s gift to protect the inner ear from infectious bacteria. (Click here to read more about it)

Cleaning this earwax may cause ear dryness, itch and pain in ear. Especially if a person uses any object like cotton swab to clean it, there are chances to damage the ear. Earwax cleaning doesn’t show any symptoms and is not recommended as an essential thing.

Still, there are times when earwax production is increased and a person may require cleaning it. If this debris is not cleaned it may impact hearing. Here are the best home remedies to clean ear at home.

How can you clean your ears?

By far, the easiest and safest way to clean ears is by visiting a doctor or a healthcare clinic. The medial specialists use professional tools to remove this excessive wax from ears. It is completed in a safe way, without damaging the ear canal.

Some of these tools used in ear cleaning are as follows.

  • any suction device
  • some spoon-like tool
  • the forceps

The initial examination of your ear will determine if there is an underlying condition or not. Sometimes the hearing problem is due to some other reason and the patient blames earwax for it. Only a doctor can give an expert opinion on this.

Still, if a person wants to clean his ears at home, try using any of the following remedies.

Clean your ear with a damp cloth

You may use a wet cloth or paper towel to clean your ear. Take a clean piece of cloth and soak it in lukewarm water. After draining the excess water, use this cloth to clean the outer areas of the ear. Do not use this inside your ear.

Try eardrops for ear cleaning

Eardrops to clean ears are available over the counter at all leading pharmacies and medicine stores. You may even buy them online. People may use these eardrops as an alternative to use any tool in inside ear. These eardrops are mild and do not harm the ear. They make the wax soft and thus easier to remove from the ear.

Try an irrigation kit

You may try using an irrigation kit that only needs water or a combination of water in the saline solution to clean ear. For professional irrigation, consult your nearest doctor.

Using eardrops before irrigation is a good idea to soften the earwax. These irrigation are available in a huge variety at all leading pharmacies. They are also available online.

To use an irrigation kit, you should heat the water and eardrops to reach body temperature. This reduces the side effects i.e. dizziness. However, do not overheat or boil this solution, as it may cause a burn.

To irrigate the ear, use a syringe and just squirt the solution into the ear canal. Make sure to do this after waiting for 15-30 minutes of eardrop application. It is better to tilt the ear when you pour eardrops to avoid a spill. (Click here to read more about it)

Irrigation is not suitable for all individuals. The AAO–HNS warns to us irrigation against certain individuals. People falling in any of the following categories should not use ear drops.

  • People with holes in their eardrum
  • Diabetic patients
  • Patients with eczema or any other skin disease near the skin
  • Low immunity people
  • People with a tube in their eardrum

What NOT to do for cleaning ears?

You may read about lots of remedies on ear cleaning. To tell you truth, most of them are misleading. For example, one of the most common methods that people use at home is using cotton swabs. The risks of using cotton swabs are numerous. For example, some of them are:

  • You may push earwax deeper in the ear
  • It may gradually slow down the wax removal process
  • A person may injure the eardrum
  • You may get the swab stuck in your ear

Earwax candle is another popular way to remove earwax. But doctors and the United States Food and Drug Association (FDA) warn against using these earwax candles. (Here are more details on it)

Using earwax candles may put you in a risk. Normally this process uses an insertion of a conical wax-coated cloth into the ear canal. The person then sets the outer end of the fabric on fire so that it burns. In worst conditions, this method can result in following.

  • Skin burn
  • Earwax blockage
  • House fire
  • Damage to the inner ear
  • Bleeding from ear
  • a punctured eardrum

Considering all these impacts, it is not a good idea to try this at home.

Note that cleaning the ears often may also cause certain problems. For example, this wax has antibacterial properties, removing it may expose you to certain pathogenic bacteria.

What are the symptoms of earwax blockage?

When there is excessive earwax building up in the ear without any removal, the person feels slightly uncomfortable. He may experience a minor hearing loss, itching, and irritation in the ear.

A few patients also experienced a sensation of fullness in the ear. In many cases, this may also show up along with an ear pain.

When should you see a doctor?

If you are experiencing a complete earwax blockage, it is the right time to see a doctor. Do not use any home remedy when you know that earwax accumulation is too much. Also, make hurry to contact your healthcare provider if any of the following symptoms show up.

  • pain in ear
  • pain around the ear
  • any fluid draining from the ear
  • feeling difficulty in hearing

Not just the extreme cases, the person may also contact a doctor if they are experiencing repeated ear blockage. It is better to discuss with your doctor about what’s happening inside your ear. A regularly scheduled checkup with at your local healthcare may help to manage overproduction of earwax.

The final word

Earwax plays an important role by keeping the ears clean of all the debris and bacteria. Most of the times, this earwax leaves the body on its own. But sometimes it is accumulated and hard so one has to manually clean ears.

A doctor or any medical professional may remove this excessive earwax for you. It is the safest way to clean the ear from earwax. For all those who want to clean ears at home, use eardrops and other safe methods. Avoid inserting any object into your ear as it may damage the ear canal.

 

Areeba Hussain

The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. She is an author of six research papers and currently working as a research associate in a Research Lab.

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