Helpful Information

Ear Care

Healthy ears

Your ear canal is lined with skin. New skin cells grow from the center of your ear drum, outwards, and down the canal like a conveyor belt. This forms a protective layer called keratin. It takes six months for the skin to move from the ear drum to the outer ear.

Wax is made only in the first 1cm of the canal. It is made up of dead skin, oil, and hairs, and constantly dissolves the keratin coming down the canal. The wax and keratin make the ear waterproof, antibacterial, and antifungal. Wax also helps keep out insects and dust.

Cleaning ears

Wax should be wiped away each day – wipe only from the outer edge of the ear opening with a towel or flannel. Do not let shower water, soap, or shampoo enter your ear canal. Lift your chin up when rinsing your head/hair.

Do not use any object to clean or scratch inside your ear canal

If any object is inserted into the ear, wax, dead skin, and debris gets pushed further into the ear canal which may create a blockage and/or remove the protective skin layer which makes it easier for an infection to occur.

To scratch your ears to ease in itch

Press your finger onto your outer ear and move it in a circular motion.

To dry your ears

Flap air in with your hand, a piece of cardboard or plastic, or use a hair dryer.

Hearing aids, ear plugs & ear pods

These stop the normal self-cleaning process. Check for wax every 6 months – utilise our free ear canal check.

Ear Muffs

Make ear canals warm and moist, creating a possible environment for infections to grow. Remove muffs often, flap air in to dry.

Preserve your hearing

  • If your hearing suddenly changes, see TOLBECS or your doctor urgently
  • Loud noise kills hearing cells. Avoid excessive noise and turn down the volume when possible
  • Always wear earplugs or earmuffs when working in noise
  • If your ears hurt when snorkeling or diving, stop immediately

Hints for healthy ears

  • Regular nose blowing helps keep the nasal passages clear which helps to reduce infections
  • Breathe through your nose, not your mouth
  • Ears need to be kept clear and dry
  • Always take medicine as prescribed (antibiotic ear drops usually for seven days)
  • Infected ears may need a swab to be sent to the lab to find out exactly what the infection is
  • Utilise TOLBECS’ Free Ear Canal Check before swimming, diving, flying or if you have any concerns

 

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