Tag Archives: ear wax

General Ear-health

z-earcare

General care:

·     Outer ear can be wiped with a wash cloth or soft towel. If water goes in after head shower or swimming mere dabbing with towel with head turned to side, cleans water.

·     You can use ready made preparation of alcohol based to dry the ear if you are sure that you don’t have ear infection.

·     Do not put anything in the ear, remember it is not only for pins; it is for ear buds and q-tips as well, believed to be safe and made for ear-cleaning( even most intellectual people think so).

·     Ear is not a cooking-range, does not require oil, garlic and so on.

 

 

 

 Ear-wax:

·     Ear wax is not a disease, rather a protective secretion which comes out by its own where it can be wiped out.

·     Excess wax causing obstruction is to be removed by your clinician.

 

 

 

 Air-travelling:

·     During ascent and descent while air-travelling, swallow frequently to keep Eustachian tube open, infant can be put to bottle feeding.

·     Avoid air-travel during cold/sinusitis, but if not avoidable use nasal/oral decongestant before ascent and decent. 

 

 

 

Cold/sinusitis/Eustachian tube and ear:

·     Do not blow nose forcefully during cold, it forces secretion towards middle ear via Eustachian-tube.

·     Take care of upper respiratory tract infection/sinusitis to reduce risk of ear infection.

·     During infant feeding, keep his head high to avoid milk/fluid entering middle ear via Eustachian tube as infants have short and horizontal tube.

 

 

 

 Noise and ear:

·     Turn down volume of MP3 player/television.

·     While working in noisy area, rock concerts wear ear protection devices.

 

 

 

 Visit your doctor:

If you have excess itching,  pain in the ear, blocked ear, ringing in the ear, drainage from ear, impairment in hearing, dizziness, uncontrolled URI/sinusitis, visit a doctor.

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How to clean the wax?

Most frequently asked question by people visiting ENT clinic is how to clean the ear and if I tell them it is not required, they will look at me puzzled and ask “then how to clean the wax?”

earwax1

Wax is normal secretion by glands of skin of ear canal just as sweat produced by glands of skin. Wax is normal protective layer for the sensitive skin of ear canal. This coating helps repel water& traps dust particles & when you clean it out you make your ear more vulnerable to infection.

 

Usually small amount of wax is secreted which comes out by its own, a process helped by jaw movement.

 


Chronic cleaning of ear causes dryness leading to itching, scratching and if you are cleaning it daily you know vicious circle. Continues itching may cause damage of skin and in turn bacterial & fungal infections.
Sometimes accidentally if you dig down too deep you may hurt your ear-drum (I have seen patients having ear bleed when they were doing cleaning jobs religiously & there kids just jumped over them). You will be amazed to see the concentration focused on ear cleaning.

 


Excess, hard wax causing obstruction is to be removed (20% of population have tendency to accumulate wax because of anatomical reasons), but if you try this by yourself you tend to push it further inside causing impacted wax and related problems like blocked ear, ear-pain, swelling in the ear and list doesn’t end here.

Even most educated patients are very ignorant about ear and use anything they have in their hands to insert in the ear. Anything means anything they find which can go inside the ear- hair-pins, pen, pencil, paper, keys, and recently I removed a bulb of decoration-lights for “diwali” accidently trapped inside the ear while trying to clean it.

 

But really nothing is safe not even so called sterile ear-buds available at chemist shop.

 

Now, I hope you got the point, I usually tell my overenthusiastic patients “ear cleaning is useless job, you don’t need it if you don’t have the excess wax & you won’t be able to remove it if you have excess wax.”


And yes it becomes a habit. People will often deny this fact, very difficult at times to convince them.