In terms of our body parts, keeping our ears clean is really very little work. Unlike our teeth, they don’t require to be brushed morning and night every day nor do they need periodic trimming like our finger and toenails. But they do demand your attention so that they are washed from time to time with soap and water. Now, isn’t that easy? But how often should you clean your ears?
An introduction to ear cleaning: Usually, wax does not form in the deep recesses of the ear canal but quite in the external area of the canal. So, if do have wax stacked up near the eardrum, it means you’ve been using bobby pins, cotton-tipped applicators or anything sharp to bring out the wax. However, what actually happens is that you push the wax deeper into the ear, and the eardrum and ear canal being fragile and thin, get injured.
It is healthy to have a normal amount of earwax as it coats the inner skin of the ear canal to repel water. In its absence, the ear may become itchy and dry. Usually, ear canals clean themselves and so do not need any help from us. The skin of the ear canal moves slowly in a progressive manner from the eardrum and reaches the opening of the ear where it drops off on its own in the form of flakes.
Ideally, it is advisable not to clean the ear canals, unless you wrap your finger with a cloth and wipe it gently.
Frequency of cleaning your ears: So, how often should you clean your ears? The thumb rule is to clean it adequately while still ensuring that you retain enough earwax. If you slip up on cleaning your ears periodically, the wax in your ears can become If you don’t clean your ears, earwax can be pressed down and cause ear aches, tinnitus and overall hearing loss. Some people might like to clean their ears oftener than others because their ears bring out more wax than others around them. In any case, one should not clean one’s ears more than three times a week.
Tips for cleaning your ears: As with everything in life, there are right and wrong ways of cleaning one’s ears too. Here are some salient tips that could prevent you make costly mistakes with your ears:
- Clean your ears Use a clean and warm damp cloth to clean your external ears after a bath every day.
- Pass a damp cloth-covered finger over your outer ear to check for wax every few days.
- Check your hearing aids for any wax build-up on them. If you come across some static sounds from your device, it means that you have a huge wax build-up that needs immediate removal. It could also be due to the device being badly fitted.
- For excessive earwax, use an over-the-counter earwax removal kit and flush it out using warm water.
- You can also try ear irrigation, which means your doctor cleans your ears by squirting water into your ear canals.
- If you feel your ears are heavy and wax-filled, see a doctor immediately to ensure you have no ear infection.
- Don’t push cotton swabs or Q-tips into your ears as this could further push the wax way into the ear canal and bring about hearing problems. You could also rupture your eardrum or ear canal.
- Don’t use the method of ear candling to get rid of earwax as it could be detrimental to your hearing.
- Don’t postpone calling up your doctor in case you have problems with earwax build-up. Excessive build-up of earwax can lead to hearing loss.
How to clean pierced ears: Pierced ears can look pretty, but you need to know how best to take care of them. In fact, this rings particularly true of the healing process just after the piercings are done when the ear lobes are sore and prone to infection and damage. To maintain your ear lobes well, clean the pierced area well using saline solution since it is mild though effective.
To prepare the solution, warm water and add in some salt. Stir and dip your earlobe into this solution for a few minutes. Else, wet a gauze pad and wrap the earlobe for some time with it. Then, rinse the ears using cool water.
How often should you clean your pierced ears? Do this once or twice a day in the initial weeks after a piercing. Later, taper it off as you find the piercings healing. If you buy commercially available saline solution, ensure that it reads “isotonic saline” as this means that it has no additives. Once you find them healed, stop cleaning, particularly if the first six weeks are over. If they aren’t healed yet, continue cleaning them.
If after three months, they still aren’t healed, relook both at your jewellery and the cleaning solution you use. If you still have some solution left, use it once a day until you finish it. After that, use just water to clean your ears.