How to Properly Clean Your Ears

One of the most preventable causes of hearing loss is trauma to the inner ear canal. Sometimes, this trauma happens as a result of a person forcibly ramming a cotton swab far into the ear, perforating the ear drum. To avoid damaging your ears while cleaning them, make sure that you are following the steps needed to keep your ears clean and healthy.

Healthy ears do not need to be cleaned too frequently, because the wax produced by the ears actually is there for a reason – it traps dirt and particles before it can infiltrate deep into the ears. Removing all the wax in the ears actually would do more harm than good, as that would be like removing the ears’ natural first line of defense. But when you notice an abundance of wax – as often is the case after you have had a cold, the flu, or a sinus infection – you might find it necessary to clean the ears. Make sure to be careful to avoid damaging them.

Physicians such as can explain and demonstrate proper ear maintenance techniques. Below are some common recommendations for cleaning ears that have an over abundance of wax buildup.

Most drugstores carry kits that include the tools you will need to safely and effectively clean your ears at home. These kits include a small syringe, and a cleaning solution. Typically, the solution is comprised primarily of hydrogen peroxide. Tilt your head so that your ear is facing up toward the sky, and gently and very slowly squirt the ear-cleaning solution into your ear using the syringe. Let the solution rest in this position for several seconds, and then hold a cotton ball to the ear opening and slowly sit up. The solution will drain out of the ear, and be absorbed by the cotton ball.

You may wish to use a safety swab to gently remove any dirt or excess wax that may have been loosed by the cleaning solution. A safety swab is a cotton swab with an extra large head that is larger than the opening to the inner ear. Because the swab is oversized, it cannot be pushed too deeply into the ear. It can, however, be very gently twirled around the exterior of the ear to remove grime and wax buildup that has migrated to the outside opening of the ear.

Whatever you do, do not ever insert a cotton swab deeply into your ear canal. This can cause damage to your delicate ears.

This cleaning regimen is a safe way to keep your ears in top condition. If you find that you are having trouble hearing, or if you feel itching or discomfort in your ears, do not try to “clean” them any thoroughly. Instead, make an appointment with a doctor.

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