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|Posted By : Dr.Archana Jhawar, M.S., E.N.T.|
|Posted On : 18 Dec 2008 (Total Views : 4560)|
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Most frequently asked question by people visiting ENT clinic is how to clean the ear and if I tell them it is not required, they will look at me puzzled and ask "then how to clean wax?"
Wax (or cerumen) is normal secretion by glands of skin of ear canal just as sweat produced by glands of skin. Wax is normal protective layer for the sensitive skin of ear canal. This coating helps repel water& traps dust particles & when you clean it out you make your ear more vulnerable to infection.
Chronic cleaning of ear causes dryness leading to itching, scratching and if you are cleaning it daily you know vicious circle. Continues itching may cause damage of skin and in turn bacterial & fungal infections.
Sometimes accidentally if you dig down too deep you may hurt your ear-drum (I have seen patients having ear bleed when they were doing cleaning jobs religiously & there kids just jumped over them).
Even most educated patients are very ignorant about ear and use anything they have to insert in the ear.
Usually small amount is secreted which comes out by its own a process helped by jaw movement.
Excess, hard wax causing obstruction is to be removed (20% of population have tendency to accumulate wax because of anatomical reasons) but if you try this by yourself you tend to push it further inside causing impacted wax and related problems like ear-block, earache, swelling in the ear.
Now, I hope you got the point, I usually tell my overenthusiastic patients "ear cleaning is useless job, you don't need it if you don't have the excess wax & you won't be able to remove it if you have excess wax."
And yes it becomes a habit.
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