How To Go About Flushing Your Ear
Have you heard that you should be flushing your ear rather than using Q-tips? Most people have no idea what this term means when they first hear it so if you are feeling a little bit lost on the topic, you certainly are not alone.
Although you may think that the only way to get that dirt out of your ears is by using a cotton swab, flushing your ear is now recommended as being the healthiest and safest option. You can actually just use warm water but for a deeper cleaning, you will need something a little bit stronger.
Things You Will Need
- Saline solution or water
- Mineral oil or baby oil
- Empty plastic syringe with no needle in it
- Clean towel
- Hydrogen peroxide
- First you will place a couple of drops of mineral oil or baby oil in your ear to dissolve the wax. It is recommended to leave this in for at least 15 minutes prior to flushing your ear.
- Warm up the saline or water that you will be using so that it is body temperature. Always avoid using cold water because it can make you really dizzy. If you choose to, you can add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to this but it isn't absolutely mandatory.
- Fill up your plastic syringe with this warm liquid. Be extremely sure that it isn't hot or flushing your ear will not be a pleasant experience.
- Place your clean towel around your neck to absorb any overflow of liquid and then place the syringe directly against the opening of your ear canal. Very slowly press down on the plunger of the syringe.
- Tilt your head slightly so that the liquid can drain out.
- If you aren't comfortable handling the towel and the syringe together ask for help from someone.
- Very stubborn plugs of wax can be suctioned out by your doctor.
- If you have ear infections in your medical history or any other type of chronic ear problems, be sure to check with your medical care provider first before flushing your ear.
- Irrigating your ear can force bacteria into your inner canal which would cause an infection if you have any ear drum damage.
Why You Should Avoid Cotton Swabs
Ear wax plays an important role trapping foreign objects such as dust and protecting your ear canal against bacteria growth. Essentially, your ear canal works much like a conveyor belt so if you leave it completely alone, the wax will eventually be pushed out of your ear. When you use cotton swabs, it is really easy to accidentally push the wax closer to your ear drum.
Some individuals create harder wax in their ears that has the ability to cause temporary hearing loss and even pain by blocking the canal. Also, as you age, ear wax becomes harder which increases your chance for plugged ears and if you happen to wear a hearing aid, the wax is even more likely to be damaging.
When you pick at your ears with a cotton swab, you not only make the problem worse but you can irritate your ear canal and even puncture your ear drum. Some people feel very embarrassed about having wax in their ears but if does not mean that you have poor hygiene. You can gently clean any surface wax with a washcloth or offer a deeper cleaning by flushing your ear.
If you happen to have recurring wax build up problem, flushing is about the bet thing that you can do for your ear health. For those really stubborn plugs, you should always have your physician take care of them.
Flushing your ear should be done at least once per week. Your ear drum and your ear canal are extremely delicate and can be damaged quite easily. If your ear wax or hearing gets worse or if you experience any pain, it is important that you seek medical attention right away.