Good intentions to keep ears clean may be risking the ability to hear. The ear is a delicate and intricate area, including the skin of the ear canal and the eardrum. Therefore, special care should be given to this part of the body. Start by discontinuing the use of cotton-tipped applicators and the habit of probing the ears.
Cerumen or earwax is healthy in normal amounts and serves as a self-cleaning agent with protective, lubricating, and antibacterial properties. The absence of earwax may result in dry, itchy ears. Most of the time the ear canals are self-cleaning; that is, there is a slow and orderly migration of earwax and skin cells from the eardrum to the ear opening. Old earwax is constantly being transported, assisted by chewing and jaw motion, from the ear canal to the ear opening where it usually dries, flakes, and falls out. Earwax is not formed in the deep part of the ear canal near the eardrum, but in the outer one-third of the ear canal. So when a patient has wax blockage against the eardrum, it is often because he has been probing the ear with such things as cotton-tipped applicators, bobby pins, or twisted napkin corners. These objects only push the wax in deeper.
Under ideal circumstances, the ear canals should never have to be cleaned. However, that isnt always the case. The ears should be cleaned when enough earwax accumulates to cause symptoms or to prevent a needed assessment of the ear by your doctor. This condition is call cerumen impaction, and may cause one or more of the following symptoms: Earache, fullness in the ear, or a sensation the ear is plugged, Partial hearing loss, which may be progressive, Tinnitus, ringing, or noises in the ear, Itching, odor, or discharge, Coughing.
To clean the ears, wash the external ear with a cloth, but do not insert anything into the ear canal. Most cases of ear wax blockage respond to home treatments used to soften wax. Patients can try placing a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin, or commercial drops in the ear. Detergent drops such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide may also aid in the removal of wax. Irrigation or ear syringing is commonly used for cleaning and can be performed by a physician or at home using a commercially available irrigation kit. Common solutions used for syringing include water and saline, which should be warmed to body temperature to prevent dizziness. Ear syringing is most effective when water, saline, or wax dissolving drops are put in the ear canal 15 to 30 minutes before treatment. Caution is advised to avoid having your ears irrigated if you have diabetes, a perforated eardrum, tube in the eardrum, or a weakened immune system. Manual removal of earwax is also effective. This is most often performed by an otolaryngologist using suction, special miniature instruments, and a microscope to magnify the ear canal. Manual removal is preferred if your ear canal is narrow, the eardrum has a perforation or tube, other methods have failed, or if you have diabetes or a weakened immune system.
There are no proven ways to prevent cerumen impaction, but not inserting cotton-tipped swabs or other objects in the ear canal is strongly advised. If you are prone to repeated wax impaction or use hearing aids, consider seeing your doctor every 6 to 12 months for a checkup and routine preventive cleaning.
Aquaear drops are specifically designed to overcome this problem. The alcohol in Aquaear combines with the trapped water and accelerates the evaporation process. Aquaear also contains acetic acid, which helps create an environment inhospitable to the growth of bacteria.
Audiclean is made from 100% sea water; an isotonic solution without preservatives & enriched with bicarbonates that help dissolve ear wax.
Audiclean Ear Wax Remover, is a gentle ear wax softening emulsion. It does not contains aggressive solvents or chemicals. It is suitable for adults and children from 30months.
Ear drops for swimmer's ear can contain acetic acid, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties they usually also contain propylene glycol or isopropyl alcohol, which help to dry your ear do not use if your eardrum is perforated or if there is discharge from your ear.
Auralgan - the ear wax remover that also provides relief until your doctors treatment takes effect. Auralgan the ear wax remover that does a whole lot more.
This preparation contains chlorobutanol, dichlorobenzene and arachis oil (peanut oil). This combination is used to soften ear wax.
Earplanes are safe, soft ear plugs which equalise the air pressure on each side of the ear drum. Recommended for: Travellers who suffer from painful ears during take off or landing. Especially useful if flying when you have a cold, allergy or sinus problems.
CleanEars is a clinically proven ear wax removal spray that is suitable for infants, children and adults. It works by dissolving ear wax (also known as 'cerumen') and provides irrigation to flush it from the ear canal.
Ear Clear Ear Cleanser spray is designed to work with the ear’s natural cleansing process by gently washing away dirt and excess wax instead of pushing it further into the ear canal.
Ear Clear for Ear Ache Relief contains 2 active ingredients - phenazone and benzocaine for relief of pain. Phenazone is an analgesic that works with benzocaine, a local anaesthetic, to provide temporary relief of pain.
The Ear Clear Ear Syringe was developed to thoroughly clear the ear canal of wax and debris. It is suitable for use after treatment with Ear Clear for Ear Wax Removal ear drops but can also be used on its own.
Ear Clear for Ear Wax Removal contains carbamide peroxide and glycerin. Carbamide peroxide acts by effervescing on contact with the ear canal thus loosening the ear wax.
You can either buy a carbamide peroxide solutionat a drug store or make your own cleaning solution. For this you will need 1-2 teaspoons of 3-4% hydrogen peroxide solution, one or two teaspoons of mineral oil and one or two teaspoons of glycerin.
Use an applicator to pour the mixture in your ear. Make sure it is more than half way full. If you do not have an applicator, you can use a syringe or simply pour the mixture from the bowl directly to your ear.
Tilt your head such that the ear you are cleaning is facing upwards. This will make the cleaning process more efficient. Pour the solution into the ear holding the bowl or the applicator a few centimeters away from the canal. It is better if you have someone who can help you out.
Let the solution sit in for 5-10 minutes. If you are using hydrogen peroxide, let the solution sit until the fizzing sound stops. Once the time is done, hold an empty bowl or cotton ball on the outside of your ear and turn your head slowly empting the solution.
Once the wax is soft, use a rubber bulb syringe to flush out the wax. Squirt warm water, 37 degrees Celsius, into the ear canal. If you have stubborn wax, you can use an enema bottle instead.
If you have excessive wax build up, you might need to repeat the procedure twice a day for a maximum of 5 days. Overdoing it could lead to damage of the eardrum and the canal walls.
Once you have drained the ear, dry it with a towel. Place the towel on the outside of the ear and pat your ear gently to get rid of excess fluid. Repeat this with the other ear.