How to Safely Clean Your Ears: Tips and What to Avoid

We all have earwax in our ears. While this might seem dirty to you, it’s actually a natural cleanser. This means that it helps to keep our ears clean. However, while this may be true, too much earwax can lead to issues such as hearing loss. To prevent this from happening, we need to clean our ears regularly. If you want to know how to do this safely, here are some top tips to help you: 

1. Wipe with a Damp Cloth

The hearing experts at Hear Clear NI recommend cleaning the outside of your ears with a damp cloth. While most people use cotton swabs for this job, this can cause damage as it can push wax back into your ear canal. 

2. Buy Some Cleaning Drops

If you find yourself struggling to hear, you may have a wax build-up in your ears. Thankfully, this is easy to overcome. You can purchase over-the-counter ear drops from a pharmacy to soften the ear wax. These drops usually contain the following: 

  • Baby oil
  • Mineral oil
  • Peroxide 
  • Glycerine
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Saline

For these drops to work, you must follow the instructions on the packet. You must place a specified number of drops into each ear, wait a certain amount of time, and then rinse or drain the ear. 

3. Irrigate Your Ears

If the options above do not work, you might want to try irrigating your ears using a bulb syringe. This process involves gently rinsing out the ear using a saline or water solution. Although this method is pretty effective on its own, try softening the wax in your ears first to make it even more effective. 

However, despite the benefits of irrigation, some individuals should avoid it. This includes:

  • People with diabetes
  • People who have a compromised immune system
  • Anyone who has a hole in their eardrum
  • People who have tubes in the impacted ear

4. Visit Your GP

You should book a visit to your GP if none of the tips above work. They will be able to advise the next course of action. 

5. Avoid Inserting Cotton Wool Buds in the Ear Canal

While it can be tempting to try and clean out the wax in your ears using a cotton wool bud, this isn’t a great idea. Inserting a cotton wool bud too far into the ear canal can damage your eardrum, leaving you with some degree of hearing loss. 

6. Don’t Use Ear Candles

You may have heard that ear candles are an excellent option for people wanting to remove the wax from their ears, but they’re not. They can actually be quite dangerous. Not only can they damage your eardrum, but the fire from the candle can burn you. 

Our ears are considered self-cleaning, so generally speaking, they shouldn’t take much to keep them clean. Earwax is a natural cleanser that gathers hair, dead skin cells and dirt from the inner ear and migrates it outwards. However, ear wax is unable to clean every part of our ears. To keep our ears in tip-top condition, we must follow the tips above. This will ensure our ears remain clean and healthy at the same time. 

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