Good Ear Hygiene

Good Ear Hygiene

Let’s not forget our ears when it comes to cleanliness.  Your ear contains lots of crevices that can trap dirt and sweat.  Keeping our ears free of excessive wax, dirt and other foreign substances should be a regular part of your personal hygiene regime.

Your ear is divided into three main areas:  the inner ear, the middle ear and the outer ear.

Cleaning the outer ear is where you want to start.  Make sure to wash this area with your washcloth every time you wash your face. And don’t neglect behind your ear.  If you have children you know the how the dirt can collect in this area.

Be careful when cleaning inside your ear.  If you have a problem with wax in your ear read below to learn the best ways for dealing with that problem.  Tampering with the inner ear can cause damage to your hearing.  Many experts do not recommend the use of Q-tips or cotton swabs for cleaning the ear.  You want to avoid harming the eardrum by cleaning to deeply into the ear with an object.

The Right Kind of Ear Wax

Ear wax protects us from things that may sneak into our inner ear canal, so a normal amount of wax is helpful for our ear’s health. Too much of anything is a bad thing, though, and excessive ear wax can decrease our hearing.

When you neglect this issue, a GP or ear specialist will need to remove the hardened ear wax. If the unnecessary ear wax is still soft, removing it is as easy as applying a couple of drops of ear wax removal solution and letting it soak the ear canal for a minute or two before washing it out.

The Wrong Kind of Ear Wax

As we all know, introducing foreign objects into the inner ear is the worst thing you can do to your hearing. Soap and warm water is the only way to drain the ear canal of any excess wax. A manageable way to make sure your ears are always clean and free of excess wax is to wash them in the shower. Hold some water in your hand and place your ear on it, then tilt your head to introduce the water into your ear, and let it sit for 20 seconds in each ear before draining.

Using Q-tips will cause damage or even push the wax far into the ear canal, which can cause infections and blockages. If you ever use a cotton swab and you see any blood or fluid dripping from your ear, see a doctor immediately.

Over the counter ear drops or a few drops of warm olive oil, help soften the wax and it will come out on its own. If after using these drops the wax is still lodged in your ear, a GP may have to syringe it out.

Don’t Lose Your Hearing

Listening to loud music through earphones is not the only cause of hearing loss. Hearing loss can also occur from an injury, inflammation, an infection, or if there’s excessive hardened ear wax built up.

An untreated ear infection can lead to a ruptured eardrum.  The good news is, your eardrum will heal.  The bad news is you lose all hearing in that ear until that eardrum heals and you may end up with some hearing loss even after it heals.

If you work in an environment where you are constantly around loud noise (music concerts, construction,