Proper Ear Hygiene


Earwax has a protective function…

Ear is a part of the auditory organ. It consists of three parts – outer, middle and inner ear. Inner ear plays a role in hearing and balance, while the outer and middle parts are responsible for hearing.
Apocrine sweat glands in ear canal (ceruminous glands) excrete earwax or cerumen that coats the skin inside the ear canal. It keeps the skin lubricated, moist and elastic. Earwax retains dust and other tiny particles disabling them from entering sensitive area of the middle ear. Earwax has a protective role and antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Excessive amount of earwax is gradually discarded out of ear. Sometimes earwax impaction can occur; however, in most cases earwax is cleaned by natural dynamics.

Earwax impaction symptoms are:

  • mild or significant hear loss
  • ringing in the ear
  • pain in one or both ears
  • itchiness
  • outer ear inflammation
  • dizziness or daze
  • irritating cough

In some people, these symptoms may be missing.

How to clean ears properly?
When cleaning ears extra caution is required. It is easy to cause infection or eardrum rupture by improper handling.
Outer parts of ear are best cleaned with moist, slightly soaped cloth and then washed out with clean water. In this part sebum, dirt and earwax gather. To clean ear canal ear sticks can be used.
Inner ear is the most sensitive part. Experts advise to avoid cotton buds or any other objects because using them usually only pushes earwax deeper into the ear.
Therefore, proper ear hygiene implies cleaning the outer part and ear canal as far as we can reach with a finger wrapped in a towel, wet cloth or tissue. Ear buds should be used only for outer ear cleaning; by no means should we push them into the ear canal.
In case you feel any discomfort, see your doctor; do not take any action on your own.

“Woman Hearing Something”- Image courtesy of Ohmega1982 /

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