How to clean ears without cotton buds

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Ear health is often overlooked by people, with many not understanding the effects of leaving wax to build up. While wax is needed to lubricate the ear canal, in excess, it can cause issues. Cotton buds are proven to exacerbate the problem, not to mention being bad for the planet, leaving people searching for alternatives.

How do you clean your ears without cotton buds?

Health experts make it clear people shouldn’t insert objects in their ear, for cleaning or otherwise.

Dennis Fitzgerald, an otolaryngologist from Washington, said cotton bud related problems are a common complaint when people visit ENT specialists.

He said: “Any ear, nose and throat doctor in the world will tell you they see these all the time.”

“People say they only use them to put make-up on, but we know what else they’re using them for. They’re putting them inside their ears.”

Otherwise known as Q-tips in the US, cotton buds push earwax and debris into the ears, making them harder to clean.

If pushed too deep, problems can include perforated eardrums, complete deafness, vertigo, nausea, and even facial paralysis.

But there are much safer alternatives for people who need to drain excess wax.

People should limit cleaning to three times a month, according to doctors, who recommend doing so when wax is softened after a shower.

The best way to clear them is by dripping olive oil into the affected ear (or ears) using an eyedropper before bed.

Put three drops inside, and massage the cartilage on the outside of the ear to distribute it.

People should cover the pillowcase with something while they sleep, as the oil will likely flow back out.

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Oil should help soften the wax before another shower the next day, which requires a dose of hydrogen peroxide.

A 1:1 water-hydrogen peroxide mix poured into the hand and rubbed into the ear should fizz and shift the wax.

People shouldn’t use too much, however, as it can irritate at high concentrations.

While ear cleansing is necessary some times, if wax causes problems, people should consult a doctor.

Very few people suffer from excessive earwax, roughly one in 20 adults.

Earwax is an infamous bacteria killer, capable of destroying up to 99 percent of several different strains.

Cleaning too much can deprive the ear of a natural barrier it needs to remain healthy.

Excess cleaning will also lead to problems such as ear infections and skin issues.

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