Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Removing Earwax

On a good day, earwax does its job, trapping foreign material and gradually moving up your ear canal to the opening of your ear. There, it dries up and eventually falls out, its job done.

But earwax isn’t always so accommodating. Many people have particularly hard or sticky earwax. It becomes trapped inside the ear canal and can eventually plug it up, causing pain and blocking sound. In fact, this problem can happen to anyone, because the consistency of earwax can change abruptly and without explanation.

So what should you do about earwax? Don’t start digging with a cotton swab. Contrary to what you might have heard, they are safe for removing earwax, but only if you limit your swabbing to the opening of your ear canal and resist the urge to plunge in. Deeper swabbing is likely to compact wax, turning a partial blockage into a complete one. It’s also dangerous, because it risks damaging the sensitive eardrum or scratching the earcanal skin, which can lead to a painful infection.

So what can you do? If you don’t have problem earwax, you don’t need to do anything— after all, the wax in your ear canal belongs there, and it will migrate out in its own good time. But if you’re prone to wax of the ear-clogging variety, a simple practice can help prevent blockages. Put two or three drops of mineral oil into each ear every day (using an eye dropper). Over a couple of weeks, this softens wax so that you can remove it with a gentle flush of water. If your ear is completely blocked, head to your family doctor, who can wash it out or scoop it out using special tools.

Source of Information : Oreilly - Your Body Missing Manual

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