Ear hygiene

    • Brief

    • The ear is an essential organ that has not one but two functions. When you think about your ears, the first thing that pops into your mind is hearing. However, other than conducting sounds, the ear serves another important function which is balance. Ear hygiene is, therefore, important to your overall wellbeing. A problem with your ears can cause hearing loss or make you feel like the world is spinning around you.

      The ear is self-cleaning, and in most cases, the best you can do is leave it alone. However, blockage of the ear canal or foreign objects in the ear can cause hearing loss, ear injuries, infections and recurrent falls. 

    • More information on ear hygiene

    • There is a common misconception that we need to clean the wax in our ears. Because of this, people use different methods to clean their ears, methods such as using biro covers, birds' feathers, and even long fingernails. Many of these methods may cause damage to the ear. Wax is produced to clean and protect the ear. It moisturizes the ear, traps dust, and contains chemicals that prevent infections. Wax is normal, and without it, your ears may feel itchy or dry.

      Most times, ear wax doesn’t need removal. It falls out to the ear opening when your jaw moves. Inserting things to ‘clean’ the ear may push the wax back deeper, causing buildup. Wax buildup or blockage may then cause ear pain or ear loss. If you have such symptoms, you should see your healthcare provider.

    • Benefits of ear hygiene

      • Ear hygiene improves your health in general. Proper ear hygiene improves your hearing and balance.
      • It prevents your ears from getting infected. This also helps in preventing the spread of infections to other parts of your body.
    • How to practice ear hygiene

    • Ear hygiene methods may vary from person to person due to their health history or the existence of other ear conditions. If you have to clean wax from outside of your ear canal, the following are tips to guide you:

      • Use a clean cloth like a towel or handkerchief to clean the outer part of the ear, do not insert cotton bud, biro covers, hairpins, or match sticks inside your ear.
      • Baby oil, olive oil, saline solution and glycerine can be used to soften earwax. Some stores also sell packaged wax softeners. It is essential to be careful while using these products.
      • Introduce water into the ear using a syringe filled with lukewarm water or saline solution. You can soften the wax a few minutes before to make it more effective. Avoid using cold water to flush your ears. It can cause dizziness.
      • See your healthcare provider for wax removal in their office. It is the safest and most effective way, especially if you are experiencing ear pain, itch or loss of hearing.
    • Kulawa cares

    • Caring for your ear prevents infections. You should only remove earwax when you notice your ear is full and blocked, there is a discharge or your ear is itching. The removal should also be done carefully using the tips provided above. If you notice any ear pain or hearing loss, you should contact your healthcare provider.