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Health

Do April showers bring May ear aches?

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Since ears amazingly clean themselves, extra measures are usually unnecessary.   Spearing a cotton swab in your ears, or blasting hot water in them while showering, are not advised.   Dr. Susan Rogan, Susan Rogan Hearing, explains that earwax is a natural development, and usually works its way out.   Using cotton swabs only impacts the wax further, and shooting water in them can be harmful.

Water from showering or swimming usually drains out of the ears on its own.   Gravity helps water trickle out to keep them healthy.

Some people enjoy taking steam showers, which deliver bursts of warm water vapor to provide an enhanced shower experience.   These shower enclosures use steam generators to provide a spa experience.   While costing on average $3000, steam shower aficionados enjoy the extra moisture and cite health benefits.   When asked why someone would take a steam shower every day, a popular answer is: “Because I don’t have time to take two.”

While the steam can clear stuffy nasal passages and sinuses, which provides relief to cold and allergy sufferers, it’s not ideal for ears.

Dr. Rogan explains, “People may think that earwax melts during long showers, but it really doesn’t work that way.   A hot shower is helpful for sinus congestion, but it doesn’t aid in ear cleaning.   If people experience chronic ear issues, they should be extra careful about trapping water in their ears, which encourages the growth of harmful bacteria.”

Swimmer’s ear and other ear infections are caused by moisture that stays in the ear and causes an infection. Dr. Rogan advises people to seek medical attention if their ear becomes painful, or they experience hearing issues.

Susan Rogan Hearing : (This new Downers Grove location coming soon) 1501 Ogden Avenue, Downers Grove, IL 60515 : 630.969.1677; and 419 N. La Grange Road, La Grange Park, IL 60526 : 708.588.0155 : www.susanroganhearing.com .