Earwax is how the body lubricates and protects the ear. People do not usually need to clean out their ears, but sometimes earwax and other debris can build up.
Earwax, or cerumen, leaves the body slowly. Chewing and moving the jaw pushes the earwax from the canal to the outer ear. When the earwax and dead skin it collects reaches the outer ear, it dries up and flakes off.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO–HNS), earwax has natural antibacterial properties that may help protect the ear from infections.
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Cleaning the ear too often can lead to dry, itchy ears. Using an object, such as a cotton swab, for cleaning the earwax may actually push it back into the ear. Cleaning out earwax that is not causing any symptoms is not usually needed or recommended.
Still, there are times when a person may need to clean their ears if wax or debris has built up to the point that it causes symptoms, such as muffled hearing. In this article, learn how to clean your ears at home.
How to clean your ears
The safest approach to cleaning ears is to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional, as they can use specialized instruments to remove any excessive earwax or debris safely.
These instruments may include:
a suction device
a spoon-like tool
A doctor can also help determine if other underlying health conditions may require attention.
If a person still wishes to clean their ears at home, they can try one of the following methods:
Using a damp cloth
A person can wet a cloth or paper towel with lukewarm water. After wringing out the excess, they can use the cloth to clean the outer areas of the ear.
It is never a good idea to insert an object into the ear.
Mineral oil or traditional ear drops
People can buy ear drops to use at home over the counter or online.
Alternatively, there are several solutions people can use as ear drops to loosen an earwax buildup and make it easier to remove.
A person can buy an irrigation kit that uses plain water or a combination of water and saline solution, or they can visit a doctor for professional irrigation. They may want to use ear drops before irrigation. A variety of irrigation kits are available for purchase online.
To start the procedure, a person should warm up the water and ear drops to about body temperature before they apply them to avoid side effects, such as dizziness. However, people should take care not to make the solution too hot, as it may lead to a burn.
To irrigate the ear, a person uses a syringe and squirts the water or saline solution into the ear canal. They should let any ear drops applied before irrigation sit in the ear for about 15 to 30 minutes by keeping their head tilted to one side.
The AAO–HNS warn against certain individuals using irrigation. People should not use irrigation to clean their ears if they have:
holes in their eardrum
eczema or other skin conditions in or near the ear
a weakened immune system
a tube in their eardrum
Methods to avoid
One of the most common methods people use at home to clean their ears is cotton swabs. The risks of using cotton swabs include:
pushing earwax deeper into the ear
slowing down the natural process of earwax removal
injuring the eardrum
getting the swab stuck in the ear
Doctors and the United States Food and Drug Association (FDA) also warn against using earwax candles.
Cleaning the ear with earwax candles involves inserting a conical wax-coated cloth into the ear canal. The individual then lights the exposed end of the fabric so that it burns. This method can result in:
burns to the skin
a blockage of candle wax in the ear
fires in the home
holes in the membrane between the ear canal and middle ear
a punctured eardrum
It is never a good idea to insert any object directly into the ear, as doing this can cause injuries and push earwax further down.
Cleaning the ears too often can remove wax that serves to protect them from bacteria and other debris.
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Zimbawe’s doctor goes missing after masterminding strike
Fearless Zimbabwe’s minister of health has called on the government to address insecurity lapses that has lead to the disappearance Peter Magombeyi, the head of a doctor’s union, who disappeared on Saturday.
Fears are rising over the fate of Zimbabwe medical doctor Dr Peter Magombeyi after he sent a message to say he had been abducted in that country by unknown persons – apparently for demanding a “living wage”.
An AFP report earlier on Sunday quoted the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctor’s Association (ZHDA) as saying Magombeyi had not been heard from since he sent a WhatsApp message on Saturday night saying he had been “kidnapped by three men”.
Zimbabwe doctors, who earn a miserly equivalent of about R3 000 are on strike to press for better wages, equipment and medicines in state hospitals.
The ZHDA has reportedly accused state security forces of abducting the doctor because of his role in organising work stoppages.
This week some doctors said the death of deposed Robert Mugabe, 95, in a Singapore hospital on 6 September was an indication of how bad health services in Zimbabwe
“Dr Magombeyi’s crime is only to ask for a living wage for his profession. This is a reflection of the troubles born out of refusal to implement Political Reforms.”
The Zimbabwe government led by Emmerson Mnangagwa has not publicly commented on the doctor’s disappearance
Turkey: Group calls for immediate action against Femicide
Emine Dirican, a beautician from Istanbul, tried to be a good wife. But her husband hated that she worked, that she socialized, even that she wanted to leave the house sometimes without him.
She tried to reason with him. He lashed out.
“One time, he tied me — my hands, my legs from the back, like you do to animals,” recalls Dirican, shuddering. “He beat me with a belt and said, ‘You’re going to listen to me, you’re going to obey whatever I say to you.’ “
She left him and moved in with her parents. In January, he showed up, full of remorse and insisting he had changed. She let him in.
In her mother’s kitchen, he grabbed her by the hair, threw her to the floor and pulled out a gun.
“He shot me,” she says. “Then he went back to my mom and he pulled the trigger again, but the gun was stuck. So he hit her head with the back of the gun.”
Her father, who was in another room in the house, heard the gunshots and ran over. Dirican almost bled to death after a bullet ripped through a main artery in one of her legs.
“I was telling my father, ‘Daddy, please, I don’t want to die.’ “
Femicide — killing women because of their gender — is a longstanding issue in Turkey. Nearly 300 women have been killed so far this year, according to the Istanbul-based advocacy group We Will Stop Femicide, which has been tracking gender-related deaths since Turkish authorities stopped doing so in 2009.
Source Npr news
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