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How to clean your ear safely
Pic. 1 - Coronal section diagram through the right ear structures
Pic. 2 - Schematic drawing of an attempt to remove the earwax with a cotton pad. Size of a cotton pad tip makes it impossible to do this. The earwax is pushed towards the eardrum and the external ear canal is denuded from the hair and the superficial layers of the epithelium. Thus the ear protective mechanism is severely affected.
Pic. 3 - Normal external ear canal cross section. It has all anatomical layers with full-thickness epithelium, hair and ear wax to play its water and antibacterial protection role.
Pic. 4 - Cross section of the external ear canal affected by a frequent cotton pad tips cleaning. Superficial epithelial layers, hair and earwax are missing thus the protection is lost.
Pic. 5 - Schematic drawing of an attempt to remove the earwax with a ENT tool - ear hook or ear loop. It is done under the visual control and does not harm the ear canal tissues, thus it is safe. There is no risk for additional cerumen impaction in the deep portion of the canal or damaging the eardrum.
For liquid or semi-liquid earwax, ear suction tube can be safely used as well.
Olive oil is recommended for home-based ear cleaning procedures by Polish and International ENT societies. Applied frequently over a period of several days dissolves and cleans the ear canal with no risk. No adverse effects have been described jet.
(c) 2008-2016 - Rafał Chmielewski