Our ears are a sensitive and vital part of our body and it is important to be aware of the proper ways to care for them. For starters, the first thing you should know is ears are efficient and self-cleaning. Thus, the general rule for ear care is that “less is more.” The “less” applies to less exposure to loud noises and less prodding of your ears with anything smaller than your elbow. So be sure to avoid using cotton swabs or other small objects that can end up doing more damage than help. However, there are some instances where additional care is recommended for your ears; instances such as wax buildup or Swimmer’s Ear.

Cleaning Your Ears

Most ears just need a daily gentle cleaning on the outer ear with a washcloth or tissue.

If wax build-up does become a concern, you can also tilt your head in the shower and allow warm water to run into and out of the ear. However, avoid the temptation to stick your finger or a towel into your ear to clean it. This can lead to permanent damage to your inner ear.

Loud Noises

Most people know that loud noises are harmful to your hearing, but it’s still a common issue for hearing loss. We recommend being aware of your surroundings and to take proper precautions. Some 15 percent of American adults have hearing loss due to work or leisure environment noise according to the National Institute of Health. One easy way to avoid noise induced hearing loss is to use earplugs when doing high-decibel activities such as leaf blowing or attending a loud sporting or music event. Also, always be sure to listen to music or watch television at a reasonable volume.

Wax Build-Up

Earwax (cerumen) is a misunderstood natural secretion and essential tool that our ears use for self-cleaning. By trapping foreign particles, ear wax protects the ear canal, this natural lubricant then works its way to the outer ear where it can be gently wiped away.

However, earwax left uncleaned, can build up and lead to a plugged feeling in the ear due or even an impaction or blockage of the ear canal. If this happens, see a doctor immediately for help.

People prone to earwax buildup are often hearing aid users. If this is the case, you can use over-the-counter ear drops to soften earwax or irrigation techniques to clean out the ear.

Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s Ear is a condition in which water has become trapped in the ear canal leading to the danger of a bacterial or fungal infection. After water activities, it is often recommended tilt your head to one side, tug lightly on your earlobe, and allow the water to drain out of the ear. If this doesn’t work, over the counter drops such as “Swim-EAR” can also be used to dry out ears.

Consult A Specialist

Taking all these recommended precautions is an important first step to protecting your ears. If you or a loved one have any questions or think you’ve experienced any form of hearing loss, be sure to schedule an appointment today; we would be happy to assist you. From the latest technology in hearing aid devices to hearing protection products, we have dedicated our practice to helping people retain and regain their hearing for a happier and more fulfilled life.