Time To Clean Your Ears? Here Is How To Irrigate Your Ears Safely

Closed Captioning: More Than a Nice-To-Have
October 22, 2019

How to clean your ears

Ear irrigation is an effective method of ear cleaning. It involves flushing your ears with liquid to remove earwax buildup and foreign matter. Hardened earwax can cause hearing loss, dizziness, and pain. Irrigation does an effective job of removal, but it does have risks. Physicians will not suggest irrigating the ears for people with specific medical histories. Please remember that It is best to have a healthcare professional irrigate your ears.

Why Irrigate?

Hearing loss, chronic cough, itching, and pain are symptoms that accompany an earwax buildup. The removal of this earwax is an indication for ear irrigation. Other methods of earwax removal include the use of earwax softener drops and mechanical removal of wax by a healthcare professional. Please do not try to remove earwax yourself using cotton swabs or hairpins. You can easily damage your eardrum in the process.

How To Irrigate Your Ears

To irrigate your ears, use a syringe containing clean water at room temperature. Ear irrigation kits are available online and in retail stores. If you choose not to purchase a kit, you can make your own with a 20 to 30-millimeter syringe. Please make sure that the catheter at the end of the syringe is blunt to minimize the risk of damage to the ear. To irrigate your ears, try the following:

  • Wash hands before you begin cleaning.
  • Sit upright and place a towel on the shoulder to collect water draining from the ear.
  • Using a finger, softly pull ear upward and backward, allowing water to enter the ear.
  • Insert the syringe up and toward the back of the ear, which helps the earwax separate from the ear and drain.
  • Lightly press the syringe to permit water to enter the ear. If pain or pressure is present, stop the irrigation.
  • Finally, dry the ear with a cloth or administer a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol into the ear.

Are There Risks Involved?

If you have a high risk for a perforation of the eardrum, ear irrigation is not safe. If you have a history of ear damage from sharp objects in your ear, eardrum surgery, middle ear disease, or radiation therapy to the ear, then use an alternative method of ear cleaning.

If you irrigate your ears with liquid, you may experience dizziness and nausea. If you have these side effects, stop irrigation immediately. Middle ear damage, otitis externa, and perforation of the eardrum are possible severe side effects.

Remove The Wax Today

Excessive earwax buildup can lead to problems. Irrigating the ears with liquid is an effective method to loosen and remove the wax from the ear. A healthcare professional can safely irrigate your ears for you, or you can choose to follow the guidelines above. There are a variety of ear irrigation kits available, or you may decide to construct your irrigation syringe. Most importantly, consult your healthcare provider if you experience hearing problems, balance problems, or pain.

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