Why Is Cleaning Our Ears So Satisfying?
Ever feel that gooey feeling in your ear when you start to yawn? Do you have a sudden urge to scratch your ear with something that can remove all that gooey sensation?
Turns out that we are not the only species that feels the constant urge to scratch our ears. Cats and dogs are constantly scratching their ears. Not that we are compared to cats and dogs, but we all have that one constant itch. A layer of wax that keeps your ear canal clean works to protect it from water and other debris or infections.
Ever wonder why it is so satisfying to stick a q-tip in your ear and just wiggle it around? Our recommended E.N.Ts say that it is simply an itch that we feel the need to scratch or sooth!
The reason we use a q-tip instead of scratching our ear is because of the complex bending shape of it. Our fingers or nails will not get through to where we think the itchy area is, so it continues to bother us until we stick something in to reach it.
Of course, we have all heard and known that it is dangerous to poke around in your ear, but do we know why? Well, when you poke into your ear canal, even with something as soft as a cotton swab, you are scratching or removing part of the protective wax that is keeping your ear clean.
ENTs recommend that you clean your ears professionally every six months, treating it like every other checkup. Removing the wax layer or pushing it further into your ear can lead to a buildup of bacteria and can lead to infections if it is constantly pushed.
Some old medicine practices used olive oil to relieve pain in the ears, as olive oil contains antibacterial and antiviral properties that kill off bacteria that is causing infections. Science and several studies have proven that warm olive oil actually helps clear out excess ear wax and works as an extra protective layer to prevent bacterial buildup.
When you get an infection in your ear, nose, or throat, symptoms of a common cold, or allergies, your sinus tends to flare up. Olive oil soothes the stretched tissues from the inflammation which helps reduce some of the pain you feel, as it contains fragile polyphenols and antioxidants that protect cells from damage.
The silky feeling of warm olive oil can also be very satisfying to your ear, this again is just the sensation of wanting to scratch, just like when you feel the need to scratch your arm or back.
ENTs recommend the six-month checkup for everyone, even children. However, they have a quick and safe way to relieve the itch without damaging your ear canal. If you feel a severe itch, just push down on your Tragus which works to cause friction that simulates a similar experience as when you scratch your ear or put in a q-tip.
That pleasing sensation is a stimulation of ultra-sensitive nerves that we don’t usually stimulate, others are around the body like the belly and reproductive organs. So, the next time you feel that tingling sensation, just press down on your Tragus. If that doesn’t work, just book the nearest appointment with your ENT for a quick check up.