Our ears help us to hear as well as maintain balance.

The External ear secretes a solution which is called wax. Wax is a protective secretion and prevents bacterial infection of the outer ear canal wall.

This accumulation in the ear canal is not dust or dirt that gathers from the atmosphere over a period of time. No. It is our own protective secretion.

The ear canal skin is magical in one way - it migrates outwards. During this process of migration the ear canal sheds the accumulated wax outside the ear canal. This is seen as dry debris that lies outside the ear.The only ear cleaning that you need to do is to take a moist cloth and brush off this debris. You do not need to do more.

Please DO NOT INSERT EAR BUDS INTO YOUR EAR. Indiscriminate use of ear buds causes

1. Ear wax to be pushed deep inside leading to blockage

2. Damage to the ear canal skin leading to bleeding and infection

3. Rupture of the eardrum in extreme cases - especially if a child shakes your hand while the ear bud is inside.

Ear Bud going deep into the ear causing rupture of ear drum
Ear Bud going deep into the ear causing rupture of ear drum

So, the absolute NOs for ear care are

1. Avoid using ear buds to clean ears

2. Do not instil oil in the ears - this may lead to a fungal infection, especially during hot and humid months

3. Avoid going to street vendors - their instruments are not sterile and they may cause an infection.

street ear cleaner - courtesy -  johnnyvagabond.com
street ear cleaner - courtesy -  johnnyvagabond.com

In case you experience ear blockage and feel that it is due to wax, kindly put some Over The Counter Ear wax softening drops for 5-7 days and then visit your nearest ENT Specialist - She will use sterile instruments and remove the wax in the most scientific manner.