Earwax is your ear’s way of protecting itself from infections, bacteria and keeping itself away from water. Surprised? Yes, that’s a fact: there’s nothing improper or gross in ear wax. Of course there’s a boundary defined for everything though so you should know how to keep it proper.
The glands of the outer canal of the ear produce earwax. This is called cerumen. As against the popular belief about earwax being a wasteful material, wax is required by your ear to keep it protected and lubricated at all times. If there is no earwax, your ear may be prone to infection. However, as a natural process small amount of cerumen accumulates on the outer canal and then after some time dries up and falls out of the outer canal. This is what you see when it comes out and is mixed with dust and sand particles caused due to dust, shampoo and soap. Earwax is generally of two types. One is Wet which is sticky and is honey colored and the other is dry which is flaky that is grayish yellow in color. In most cases, it is not required to clear the ear as the wax falls out on its own. However, if it does not fall on its own then it might become a little irritating. More than that, no one likes to look at someone’s ear that has wax in it. It can be the biggest put off for anyone.
If you want to get rid of flaky earwax there are a few tips you can follow.
Ear buds recently have a bad name from a lot of ENT specialist and generally, doctors advise you not to use ear buds. The reason for this is that ear buds may push the wax further inside causing infection inside the ear. Earwax is only formed in the outside canal of the ear not inside. Moreover, due to its sticky nature can attract bacteria. If you visit a doctor and he finds out that you have used and ear bud it is because he finds the wax inside the ear. It is supposed to remain in the outer part of the ear. If the wax goes inside it can cause ear infection. Moreover, if you push the wax too much inside you may cause a serious injury to the eardrum causing middle ear infection. However, if you want to use an ear bud you can use it but only keep it to clean the outer canal of the ear and do not use ear bud on a dry ear. The chance of injury increases when you use an ear bud when it is dry.
Visit an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Specialist
If you have pain due to earwax, it would be best in your favor that you visit an ENT specialist. ENT doctor will have the right equipments to clear your earwax. If you have developed an infection, he may also administer you some medications. In case of pain, do not try to clear the earwax on your own. If there is pain, there are high chances that you have already developed an infection and need some medication.
Over the Counter Drugs
Hydrogen peroxide solution is available at most pharmacy stores as over the counter (OTC) drug. You can use that to get rid of the flaky earwax. Hydrogen peroxide solution is mixed with water is made to the flaky earwax more liquid. To use make sure that you read the instruction manual before you apply or you are doing it under an experts supervision. You can also buy ear-cleaning kit available in pharmacy over the counter. Most of them are safe to use. However, just like hydrogen peroxide solution make sure that you have read the instruction manual before use. Incase after using the cleaning kit you have developed some rashes on the outside ear or your ears pain, please consult a physician and do not use the kit.
If you have some baby oil then warm it but remember, it should not be hot. Now lie sideways with one ear up. Put some warm oil inside your ear and stay put for at least 10 minutes. Doing this will moisten the dry or flaky wax. After 10 minutes, turn to the other side. Keep a cotton cloth under your ear so that the dirty wax can flow out. Now use a rubber bulb syringe to put some water inside so that remaining of the wax can flow out. Follow this process for the other ear also.
Doing breathing exercises can help you get rid of the flaky earwax further. Sit in an upright position keeping your back straight preferably on a hard floor. Now take your left hand thumb and put it on the left nostril closing it completely. Breathe in slowly from your right nostril deeply. Now hold the breath and using the index finger of the same hand close the right nostril. This time keeping the right nostril closed completely exhale very slowly from the left nostril. Once you have exhaled completely do not remove your index finger from the right nostril. Keeping it closed this time inhale slowly from the left nostril. After holding the air inside for a few seconds, use your thumb again to close the left nostril and exhale slowly from your right nostril. Keep repeating this for next 10-15 minutes.