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Have you been thinking about having ear irrigation performed for you or someone you know? This method for cleaning out excess wax in the ears is helpful for most people who choose to undergo the treatment, but there is certainly some information you should know before asking your doctor about it

Have you been thinking about having ear irrigation performed for you or someone you know? This method for cleaning out excess wax in the ears is helpful for most people who choose to undergo the treatment, but there is certainly some information you should know before asking your doctor about it. Below is some basic information about ear irrigation.

What is Ear Irrigation?

Put simply, ear irrigation is the process of injecting water into the ear canal, allowing it to soften up the excess wax, and then removing the wax once it is softened. This is helpful when more simple treatments such as ear drops have no dislodged the wax and cleared the ear. It is an easy procedure wherein water that is at body temperature is put into the ear through a machine that is designed for that purpose, which controls the pressure of the water to make sure that the ear is not damaged during the process. With the gentle force of the water, the wax is made soft and is then dislodged so that it is carried out of the ear by the water. Hence the name “irrigation,” similar to the process used by farmers to water their crops. This is not to be confused with the “syringing” process, because that entails a literal syringe being used to extract the wax; this method is outdated and not as safe.

Despite being a lesser-known operation, ear irrigation is nevertheless more common than you would think; more than a million people in the United States have the procedure performed on them every year. The procedure is safe and not painful at all.

Why Would You Have Ear Irrigation Performed? What Are the Dangers of Excess Ear Wax?

In addition to having a negative effect on your hearing, excess ear wax can gather and harden inside the ear, causing it to become impacted. Not only that, but you run the risk of getting an ear infection if you do not regularly clean your ears of the wax. While some wax in the ear is a good thing (it’s been said to ward off insects from getting inside, among other things), too much is a bad thing and must be dealt with. It should be mentioned that cotton swaps (Q-tips) shouldn’t be used to clean the ears, since most people push them straight in, causing the wax to be pushed back farther in the ear and thereby increase the chance of the ear becoming impacted.

Note that ear irrigation should only be an option if other, more common procedures have not been able to remove the wax. Procedures that you should try before seeking an irrigation include ear drops or a medical scraper that has been designed for that purpose. If you will seek to have an ear irrigation performed on you, then it is advised that you treat the affected ear with some drops of warm olive oil a couple times a day, two to three days before the operation, since it will greatly improve your chance of success. Ideally, you should insert the olive oil and then lie with the affected ear pointing up for about five minutes. This will help the procedure to go as smoothly as possible.

Who Can Perform an Ear Irrigation?

The bottom line is that anyone can perform an ear irrigation on themselves if they really do not wish to see a doctor, or if finances are a concern (this procedure may not be covered by some insurance companies). It is always recommended that you allow a trained professional to do this procedure, since the risk of mistakes or complications drops exponentially. However, if you must perform this on yourself or someone else, here is what you should do:

You should do some before-hand preparation first of all. Ensure that the wax inside the ear is soft. If it’s not, use an eyedropper to place two drops of olive oil in the ear, as mentioned above. This will make the wax softer and easier to flush out.

Secondly, sterilize the affected ear with sterline saline solutions. Mix three parts water with one part of salt, and bring the solution to a rapid boil. Allow the water to cool to body temperature; water that is too hot or cold will cause dizziness or vertigo.

Fill a syringe with the solution and tilt your head to the side. Pull back on the ear so that the syringe goes in comfortably; never, ever force it into the outer ear canal. If it doesn’t go in smoothly, you’re doing it wrong — don’t force it. Gently squeeze the bulb to release the solution into your ear canal. Keep your head tilted for about 30 seconds to allow the solution to soften and dislodge the wax. Then tilt your head to the other side and allow the solution and wax to drain out. Repeat for the other ear, if necessary. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary until you achieve the results you’re looking for.

Dry the ear thoroughly after you’re done to avoid infection. Use a towel for the inside, and a hair dryer on the low-cool setting to dry the inside of the ear canal. For preventative measures, make sure you clean your ears regularly to avoid having to do this in the future.

Some Cautionary Notes

Take note of these suggestions before performing the ear irrigation procedure on yourself or others. Never perform this operation on someone who has tubes in their ear, or who has a perforated eardrum. Doing so will cause the water to flow into the inner ear canal and cause infection and vertigo.

Stop immediately if you or the patient complains of pain, dizziness, vertigo, or hearing loss at any time during the procedure. If a person’s ear is swollen or otherwise inflamed, do not perform an ear irrigation. If the person has had discharge from the ear (other than wax), do not perform the operation. If any of these symptoms appear, consult a doctor and follow his or her recommendations.

As always, if you’re not confident in your abilities to perform this procedure, allow a professional to do it for you. It’s better to let them do it than take the risk of making a mistake doing it yourself.

The post Have you been thinking about having ear irrigation performed for you or someone you know? This method for cleaning out excess wax in the ears is helpful for most people who choose to undergo the treatment, but there is certainly some information you should know before asking your doctor about it appeared first on E Cig Wars.

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