According to the current thinking from leading medical professionals, there is only one real reason to clean your ears: the excessive buildup of earwax. This is known in medical circles as cerumen impaction. Symptoms include a feeling like your ear is plugged, partial loss of hearing, a pain or feeling of fullness in the ear, tinnitus, or itching and ear drainage. Earwax buildup is a normal and natural process that is necessary for the health and well-being of your ear. It also cleans itself out of your ear under normal circumstances. However, there are certain circumstances where it can build up excessively and cause ear clogging.
You can end up with your ear clogged for a number of reasons aside from cerumen impaction. It can come about as a result of air flow blockage in the Eustachian tubes, pressure deviations in the middle ear, as well as being a consequence of sinus problems and colds. The Valsalva manoeuvre (where one holds one’s nose and blows until one’s ears pop) should serve to alleviate any clogging caused by air flow blockages and pressure differences. The application of a warm compress or steam inhalation can help alleviate ear clogging associated with cold and sinus issues. If your ear clogging does not result from one of the above, it is very likely the consequence of cerumen impaction and will require ear cleaning. Observable symptoms of excessive earwax buildup can include ear drainage or discharge as well as an odor coming from the affected ear.
A visit to your doctor is the safest way to have excessive earwax buildup removed. If this is your first time experiencing the problem, it is advisable to seek a medical opinion relating to the causes. Your doctor can clean your ears properly using a variety of different techniques and tools, including a suction device, a cerumen spoon, forceps, or even through the use of professional ear irrigation.
There are several safe and easy ways you can perform an ear cleaning yourself at home. The first is the liberal application of a damp cloth. Use a warm, damp cloth to wipe around the outside of your ear and clear away any excess or leaking ear wax. This will also help to soften the wax.
Cleaning of the ear is a practice that should only be carried out in extreme circumstances with the right tools. The ear has an in-built self-cleaning mechanism, which means you should not have to routinely clean them. This may run counter to a practice that many have been employed throughout their lifetime.
Ear cleaning of the kind described above is usually only required in extreme circumstances and is best carried out by or at least in consultation with a medical professional. There are a number of additional ways that you can care for your ear health and reduce the likelihood of the need for medical attention. If you are a swimmer, keeping your ears dry is a good place to start. This will help prevent bacteria buildup and ear infections. Did you know that regular exercise can also have an impact on your ear health? Effective blood flow is vital for proper ear function and maintenance, making any kind of cardiovascular activity a great boon for the ears! Of course, a regular checkup is also an excellent way to stay on top of your hearing and general ear health.
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