Introduction Our doctors

Never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear!

 Ear wax - Pic 1

Never ever use a cotton bud to clean your ear canal.

The Outer Ear And Canal
The outer ear is the funnel-like part of the ear you can see on the side of the head, plus the ear canal (the hole which leads down to the eardrum).

The ear canal is shaped somewhat like an hourglass -narrowing part way down.   The skin of the outer part of the canal has special glands that produce earwax. This wax is supposed to trap dust and sand particles to keep them from reaching the ear drum. It also has an Anti-bacterial effect. Usually, the wax accumulates a bit, and then dries up and comes tumbling out of the ear, carrying sand and dust with it. Or it may slowly migrate to the outside where it is wiped off.

Ear wax - Pic 2

Should You Clean Your Ears?
Wax is not formed in the deep part of the ear canal near the eardrum, but only in the outer part of the canal. So when a patient has wax blocked up against the eardrum, it is often because he has been probing his ear with such things as cottonbuds, paper clips or twisted napkin corners. Such objects only serve as ramrods to push the wax in deeper. Also, the skin of the ear canal and the eardrum is very thin and fragile and is easily injured.

Earwax is healthy in normal amounts and serves to coat the skin of the ear canal where it acts as a temporary water repellent. The absence of earwax may result in dry, itchy ears.

Most of the time the ear canals are self-cleaning, that is; there is a slow and orderly migration of ear canal skin from the eardrum to the ear opening. Old earwax is constantly being transported from the ear canal to the ear opening where it usually dries, flakes, and falls out.

Under ideal circumstances, you should never have to clean your ear canals. However, we all know that this isn’t always so.

When the wax has accumulated so much that it blocks the ear canal (and hearing), your doctor may have to wash it out, vacuum it, or remove it with special instruments. If the wax is very hard or sticky, it helps to use drops to soften the wax so that it is easier to remove. Over-the-Counter preparations such as Sweet Oil eardrops are safe and effective to use. Some of the prescription Wax Softeners may be quite irritating to the ear canal skin and should be used with caution.

You must know that you do not have a hole (perforation or puncture) in your eardrum. Putting the wrong eardrop products in your ear in the presence of an eardrum perforation may cause an infection. Certainly, washing water through such a hole would surely start-up an infection. If you are uncertain whether you have a hole in your eardrum, consult your doctor.

Ear wax - Pic 3

Sources:  www.rexearnosethroat.com &  www.kids-ent.com

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