According to the Telegraph, every year around 7,000 people in England alone go to hospital with an injury from a cotton swab – That’s more people than are injured by razor blades! Healthcare professionals have been trying to discourage people from cleaning their ears with cotton swabs for years as it can damage the ear drum and push wax deeper into the ear. They can also can cause ear infections as well as long term hearing damage. But it seems that no one is listening…
Produced by glands in your ear, cerumen (ear wax) has antibacterials proprietress and acts as part of your body’s defense system, lubricating and cleaning the ear canal. There are a number of ways to clean your ears without damaging your ears…
While most people conceive of getting salt water in your ear as fairly horrible, this is not at all unpleasant. By gently dapping in a few drops of salt water, you can effectively clean the recesses of your ear. Use water that’s warmed to 100 °F (37.5 °C).
Baby oil, mineral oil and ear-cleansing oil are all safe to use on your ear passages. Ensure you check to see if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. If you’re not sure, dab some on your wrist and wait an hour to see if it flares up.
Irrigation or syringing
You can either have a doctor perform an irrigation or you could buy a home irrigation kit. The most popular way of doing this is to use a saline solution.
See a doctor
Of course, if all else fails you could always go and see doctor. Even if he or she is not a otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) they will still be able to point you in the right direction by prescribing drops or performing an wax extraction using the proper tools.