Patients always ask what they can do on their own to prevent chronic ear problems. Here’s a Top Ten List of my Do’s and Don’ts for your ears. It’s a condensed version of what I tell my patients all the time. Hope they help you to avoid ear problems from plaguing you.
TOP TEN DO’s
TOP TEN DON’TS
1. DO…use a blow dryer to keep ears dry after water sports.
1. DON’T…undergo ear candling to remove ear wax—it doesn’t work.
2. DO…use nasal saline to keep nasal passageways clear during allergy season to prevent ear and sinus blockage.
2. DON’T…use a Q-tip to clean out your ears. Better yet, remove them entirely from your bathroom medicine cabinet.
3. DO…apply sunscreen to the back of your ears as the skin there is prone to sun exposure.
3. DON’T...expose your ears to continuous loud noises. Translation: turn your iPod down.
4. DO…use a 50:50 alcohol and vinegar solution as ear drops to evaporate excess water and keep your ears dry if you’re prone to swimmer’s ear.
5. DO…see a physician if you experience sudden onset hearing loss
5. DON’T…ignore sudden hearing loss
6. DO… cover your ears when exposed to loud noises
6. DON’T… use ear plugs if you have wax problems
7. DO…have a qualified physician remove ear wax
7. DON’T…try to remove ear wax on your own
8. DO…use hydrogen peroxide or mineral oil to periodically loosen ear wax
8. DON’T…use anything larger than your elbow to clean inside your ears.
9. DO…use OTC decongestants while flying if prone to ear popping
9. DON’T…eat right before you go to bed—eat at least 3 hours before instead.
10. DO…use mineral or olive oil to drown live insects that get stuck in your ears (& get the dead insect removed by an ENT)
10. DON’T…scratch the inside of your ear with a pen or any sharp object.