Taking care of our bodies is something we learn at an early age. We are taught and told often to stay clean, exercise, go to the dentist, get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, and much more. However, we don’t get much direction about our ears. So you can better understand your ears and properly care for them, the following provides some helpful earcare tips!
Earwax: the truth
Let’s start by debunking a myth. Most people believe that earwax, the yellowish-brown substance made and stored in our ear canal, is a gross or a bad thing. This is not true! In actuality, earwax has a number of important roles to play in our ear health. It protects the ear canal skin, helps clean and lubricate and protects our ears from bacteria, water, fungi, and insects.
Properly cleaning your ears
The ears actually clean themselves and most people don’t even need to have their ears “cleaned”. Specialists say the best thing you can do for your ears is to not put anything smaller than your elbow into them. Wax is actually formed in the outer part of the ear near the opening and not in the deep area of the ear canal. Surprisingly, earwax, if left alone, will naturally migrate out of the ear as a result of jaw movements. If you stick Q-tips or any other pointed objects into your ear it will only push wax deeper into the ear canal and can cause canal wall damage or even eardrum trauma. So, leave your ears alone and let nature work it’s magic! You can use a washcloth or tissue to gently wipe the outer ear area after your shower or bath.
Earwax becomes a concern when an impaction or a complete blockage of the ear canal occurs. The symptoms of impaction may include any of the following:
- A sensation of fullness or plugged-up feeling in your ear(s)
- Ear pain or earache
- Changes in hearing sensitivity, or impaired hearing
- Ringing in the ear(s)
- Discharge, odor or itching
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important that you see a doctor or hearing professional right away. Don’t always just assume that earwax is the problem. A trained professional will be able to single out the actual culprit. To find a local hearing professional in your area, call 1-855-970-2990 or click here.