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Unread 01-04-2008, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Arizona
633 posts, read 1,501,203 times
Reputation: 506
Default Ear Cleaning Methods

Q-tips were always used to clean my ears as a child.
My mom was a nurse & I always trusted her ways of caring for my health & hygiene needs.

Then after I had my son, I was warned that Q-tips are really bad to use for cleaning ears because they push the wax in & can damage the ear drum.

I continued to use them on myself, but just for the outer parts of my ears & used warm water/peroxide to clean out the rest.
I've never seen anything come out of my ear with this method.

I know of the wax candle as well. And many people that I have talked to swear by them & say that I will be amazed by the amount of crud that comes out of your ear.

What IS the best ear cleaning method?
What do you do?
What about for small children?

Geez, why must our bodies have so many cracks & crevices!?
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Unread 01-04-2008, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Burlington County NJ
1,946 posts, read 3,495,068 times
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for small children - there is a safety Q-tip you can buy. Its wider at the tip so you can't go in too far. As far as everything else, if you don't have excessive wax, and nothing gross has come out of your ears with the warm water and peroxide, you probably don't need to do anything. Just leave it alone.
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Unread 01-04-2008, 02:03 PM
 
437 posts
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Q-Tips are a BIG TIME NO-NO.

Introducing something into the ear can cause infection or perforation of the eardrum. It can also led to inflammation of the ear canal. If one has a problem with build-up of wax, then do one of two things:

1. ask your pharmacist for an OTC ear cleaner which they recommend.

2. visit your physician and have the build up investigated.

Remember that some wax is the body's way of protecting the ear.
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Unread 01-04-2008, 02:13 PM
 
6,842 posts, read 14,741,543 times
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The old saying is that you should never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.

Washing your ear with your finger on a washcloth should be enough. Anything more, and you run the danger of pushing wax in too far. The wax is there to help protect the canal. Leave it alone.

Sometimes, especially in the elderly, wax can become impacted, and hearing is diminished. This removal is for a doctor to do.
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Unread 01-04-2008, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Arizona
633 posts, read 1,501,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nic529 View Post
if you don't have excessive wax, and nothing gross has come out of your ears with the warm water and peroxide, you probably don't need to do anything. Just leave it alone.
I don't think that I have excessive wax, I just always thought that I was supposed to see something come out!

Maybe I'm just paranoid that I'll have wax in my ear & someone will see it.....

I'm still curious about the candle & who has had experience with it!
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Unread 01-04-2008, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Eastern PA
1,123 posts, read 2,743,507 times
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I don't do anything for our ears other than wipe away wax that has obviously been excreted and appears on the outside. Ears are best left alone in my opinion. If you think you have excess wax issues, see a professional.

Here is a link on candling:
Ear Candling - What You Need to Know About Ear Candling

As a note, I am all for alternative medicine, but ear candling scares me. My mom's office (she works for an audiologist) gets at least one "ear candling gone wrong" incident each month and that has made me wary of this practice.
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Unread 01-05-2008, 05:21 AM
 
4,079 posts, read 9,368,349 times
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Ear Wax - Ear Wax Treatment and Removal

This is a very good website on ear wax. You can damage your ears using q-tips. But you can also damage your ears if you remove too much wax. I get so much wax that I can't hear well, and so when the doctor used peroxice with warm water in my ear a plug came out, and I could hear so much better.

If you have sensitive ears, like I do, which means to say, I get ear aches from ear plugs, from ear phones that enclose the ear, from wind, and from candling, then you will want to use peroxide with water.
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Unread 01-05-2008, 10:32 AM
 
Location: My heart is in Wyoming, my body is soon to follow.....
745 posts, read 2,655,449 times
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We've used the ear candles several times. The amount of crud that comes out of your ears is amazing, you get wax, but you also get this white powdery stuff. Someone told me what the white stuff is but I can't remember what she said now. It's been a few years since we've done this, I was thinking of picking up some more candles soon.
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Unread 01-06-2008, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Arizona
633 posts, read 1,501,203 times
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The things they just don't teach you in school!

I'll probably stick to the warm water & peroxide method. Sounds like it's best. I do the same for my 4 year old son, too, he says it tickles!

Thanks for all the advice & I have definately decided NOT to do the candle!
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Unread 01-09-2008, 06:17 AM
 
379 posts
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In nursing school we were taught qtips, esp in children, should be avoided. If you must use them, make sure it is on the outer ear only. Cleaning inside the ear canal can hurt or even puncture your ear drum (by the way it hurts). Cleaning your ears should be done occasionally during/after a shower with a washcloth and your finger. I am sure there are exceptions (those with excess) but don't diagnose yourself unless you went to medical school.
FYI for you bathroom surgeons... YOU CAN DAMAGE YOUR/YOUR CHILDRENS EARS IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
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