Very often, appointments at the ENT are linked to plugs formed in our ears. In question, bad habits when washing the ear canal.
Washing your ears may seem simple but often, bad habits lead to the formation of plugs in the ear, which are not without consequences for our hearing health. Let’s take stock.
Earwax, what is it for?
Earwax is a kind of natural wax that forms in the ear canal, at the level of the outer ear. It is not dirty and its role is even fundamental since it prevents microbes, insects, and other dust from entering deeper into the ear.
It is also known that it allows the proper transmission of sound and protects the eardrum, a thin membrane very fragile. So yes, we can remove the excess unsightly earwax on the visible part of the ear, but we do not remove everything!
Ban cotton swabs
ENTs do not recommend the use of cotton swabs, including those supposedly suitable for babies. What for? Simply because the latter is often misused on the one hand – earwax is pushed to the bottom of the ear, which leads to the formation of a plug – and irritates the ear canal on the other hand.
Removing all earwax leaves the ear unprotected and unlubricant. Finally, the cotton swab can leave cotton particles in the ear and there will then be no more earwax to accompany them to the exit.
Wash your ears no more than once a week
For good ear health, avoid washing your ears too often. As mentioned above, you risk depriving the ear of earwax, its best protection. Once a week – or even once every ten days – is a reasonable pace and is recommended by experts. In case of discharge, you can pass a wet handkerchief on the pavilion.
What about sprays?
In case of (too) high production of earwax, it is possible to use a spray. Spray the product purchased at the pharmacy into the ear canal, tilt your head, and massage lightly.
This process will fragment the earwax and help it flow outward. Repeat the operation three or four consecutive nights from time to time. Be careful, be sure not to have the eardrum pierced before using a spray! Consult an ENT in case of doubts or pain.
Admittedly, their name is not very sexy, but it is an effective and safe tool. They can be found in organic stores. Earpicks, or ear curettes, remove excess earwax without going too far into the duct. Thanks to its shape, it is impossible to push earwax to the eardrum.
However, avoid going too far by wanting to remove as much earwax as possible: you could injure yourself or damage your eardrum. It is a tool adapted to the hygiene of children (to be used with caution, beware of sudden gestures) and adults. The stainless steel earpick remains the best choice.
The simplest, in the shower
Some say they no longer “officially” wash their ears, without being overwhelmed with earwax. Just pass a small stream of water in the morning in the shower in each ear. We can quickly soap the pavilion and voila. Do not forget to wipe well when going out, with your towel or a tissue, to avoid leaving water in the duct.
Image Credit: Image by jcomp on Freepik