Your ears are probably the lowest maintenance organ you’ve got. They go about their business without much fuss or Fare—they are even self cleaning. But the ear is a complex structure, connected to your respiratory system via the sinuses and responsible for such important duties as regulating pressure, draining mucous and other secretions and facilitating your hearing. Because the tissues in the ear are also very sensitive, any trauma—an infection, a blow to the head, a very loud noise, buildup of ear wax or an overzealous cleaning with a cotton swab—can lead to irritation and intense pain. The most common problems associated with the ears are a buildup of wax, which can cause discomfort and even mild hearing loss, and infection-especially in children, whose shorter tubes make them far more susceptible than adults. Here’s what you can do when pain strikes.
What might be causing earwax
The purpose of earwax is to lubricate and protect the ears. It is also considered antiseptic. An excess of this substance (called ceruminosis) maybe due to over consumption of fats and sugars in the diet. Putting cotton swabs in the ears can also push dirt and wax further into the ears. causing wax buildup.
Remove ear wax safely with mullein flower oil
To safely remove earwax, add several drops of mullein flower oil into the ears every night for a week.
Remove ear wax using hydrogen peroxide
The ear canal is naturally coated with a thin film of wax, which traps dust and other debris that could get into the inner ear and lead to infection or physical damage. Ear wax serves a definite purpose, so you shouldn’t try too hard to eradicate it, says Carolyn DeMarco, M.D., a holistic physician in Toronto. “Wax prevents infection, and naturally forms into flakes and falls out on its own.” She says, But if your ears aren’t ridding themselves of all the wax they produce, they might feel itchy or stuffed up, and you might notice that your hearing isn’t what it used to be. In that case. you should clean your ears—but do it gently. ”You should never use cotton swabs to clean out the ear canal.” advises Keri Rollins. D.O.“Swabs just mash the max into the ear and cause it to become impacted, which can create more problems.“ She recommends a hydrogen peroxide rinse solution instead.
Mix a teaspoon of any hydrogen peroxide with a few tablespoons of warm water. Tilt your head to one side, then, using a small bulb syringe (available at any drug store), squirt the solution into your cars and let it drain. (It’s a good idea to have an absorbent paper towel handy.
Olive Oil for ear wax removal
Other practitioners suggest putting a few drops of oil into each ear before rinsing; the oil will attract the wax particles and make them easier for the warm water to away. You can buy herbal drops made specially for your cars or use a plain vegetable oil. An even simpler solution. says Robert Rakowski. M.D, director of the Natural Medicine Center in Houston, is to gently insert an olive oil-soaked cotton ball into each car at bedtime. In the morning. remove the cotton. The wax will have been drawn into the oil. so you can easily wipe it away.
The right way to de-wax
Earwax a goopy composite of glandular secretions, oil. sweat. and dead skin cells, actually serves an important purpose. lt traps dirt dust, and other foreign particles before they travel inside your ear, where they can damage your eardrum. says jennifer Derebery. M.D., assistant clinical professor of otolaryngology at the University of Southern California and associate of the House Ear Clinic and Institute. both in Los Angeles. But some ears produce too much wax or unusually hard wax If it isn’t removed. it can cause more harm than good. including pain and even temporary hearing loss.
If you have a problem with earwax. Dr. Derebery suggests using baby oil to clear it out Here’s what to do. (If you have a punctured or perforated eardrum. skip this procedure and see your doctor instead.)
I. Using an eyedropper, place a few drops of room temperature baby oil in your ear. Repeat twice a day for two or three days. The oil will soften and liquefy the wax.
2. If the wax doesn’t come out on its own, then on the third or fourth day, fill a small bulb syringe with warm water. Pull your ear up and back in the direction of the crown of your head to open up the ear canal. Tilt your head to the side and gently squirt the water into your ear. (If you have especially stubborn wax, you may have to repeat this step a few times).
3. Once the wax flows out, put an eyedropper full of a solution of half vinegar and half rubbing alcohol into your ear and let it drain out. This will dry the ear canal and help prevent infection.
Under no circumstances should you use cotton swabs. hairpins. paper clips. or other pointy objects to poke and prod inside your ear. Dr. Derebery cautions‘ All that does is ]am the wax deeper into the ear canal.