ear

 Hygiene and cleanliness must be an important aspect in life that helps to maintain one’s health in a good condition. We take a shower regularly to keep our body clean and cool. Many people have many questions when it comes to clean the ears! Yes, it is tricky when it comes to cleaning the ears. When a lot of people say using a cue tip is good, many say, it is harmful. Let us look into the ways by which you can maintain clean ears naturally.

Structure of ear

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Ear is divided into three parts – external, middle and the inner ear. External ear, i.e. the ear lobe or cartilage that is visible, is called as pinna. This part helps to pass the sound into the internal parts.

The sound passes through a tube from the pinna, is called as external auditory canal. It is a short tube that goes until the ear drum or the tympanic membrane.

The sound that passes inside creates vibration internally and the vibrations are passed to the inner most part of the ear called cochlea. This innermost part, cochlea, converts the sound vibrations into nerve impulses or signals that are taken to the brain.

There are canals attached to the cochlea form the middle part of the ear that are very important for balance and head position. The canals are filled with fluids and are connected to the nerves.

Though the ear looks like a simple part in the body, it plays a very important role.

Issues or conditions that can affect the ear

Ruptured eardrum

Ear drum or the tympanic membrane is a delicate part of the ear. When this thin layer, it leads to ear loss, pain and inflammation. The damage can be caused by too loud noises, sudden change in the air pressure, internal infection and by physical hurt. If the size of the damage or hole is tiny or small, it can naturally heal within few weeks.

Too much ear wax

When there is too much of ear wax accumulated in the internal tube, it blocks the sound from reaching the eardrum. When the vibrations are reduced, it leads to hearing issues.

Acoustic neuroma

It is a condition where there is growth of tumor (non-cancerous) in the nerve that passes the impulses to the brain. This condition can be diagnosed when there is hearing difficulty, vertigo or another condition called tinnitus.

Tinnitus

It is a condition that causes noise (ringing, buzzing or humming), inside the ear when there is no other source of the sound externally. This usually occurs because of minor damage in the nerve. Tinnitus can be found in people who are nearing old age. It can also occur in younger people when they are exposed to loud noise.

Swimmer’s ear

It is a type of infection that affects the canal and the external part of the ear. When water or moisture is trapped in the canal, it causes infection that can be painful. If not looked at the right time, the bacteria multiplies quickly and the infection might get severe

Autoimmune Inner Ear disease (AIED)

This issues causes inflammation in the middle part of the ear. The immunity system in the body considers the cells in the inner ear as bacteria or virus and starts attacking.

Cholesteatoma

This is a condition where there is skin growth in the middle ear, behind the ear drum. This extra skin growth can be caused by infection, and sometimes it is preset right from birth.

Natural ways to keep ears clean

Using a washcloth

Many tend to use an ear swab to remove the excess wax from the ear, but pushing the swab inside too much, will lead to pushing the wax even more internally. So it is always advisable to use a wash cloth dipped in warm water. Tis process can be done once in 15 days for the external ear alone.

Ear wax softener

One if the best ways to remove ear was is to use a wax softener solution which helps to loosen the wax and comes out along with the fluid. The solution can be baby oil, glycerin or saline water. After pouring few drops of the solution in the ear, wait for some time and drain it out by tilting the head sideways.

Hydrogen peroxide

This is one of the effective remedies to remove excess ear wax. Hydrogen peroxide (3%) will be available on every medical stores and purchase a container. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide with water (1:1 ratio). Use a dropper and pour few drops of the solution in the ear. After adding drops, wait for 15 to 20 minutes. Later, tilt your head sideways to drain out the wax and solution. Use a damp wash cloth to wipe the wax from external ear.

Use warm water

Apart from the above mentioned options, you can always use just warm water or salted warm water. Just add dew drops of the water in ear and wait for some time before draining out the wax and water.

As a word of advice, if you have discomfort even after trying to clear wax from ear at home, please visit a doctor immediately.

 

Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.