You have been cleaning your ears all wrong

Feburary 18, 2017

Your step-wise guide to remove earwax

1/6Your step-wise guide to remove earwax

We get too overzealous about maintaining our hygiene, sometimes pushing the Q-tips as much in our ears as humanly possible. We would still be thinking that this is the right way to go about it but that’s not so! Studies have shown how dreadful this habit can be. Earwax, in fact, protects our ear canals and keeps them lubricated. It is made up of cerumen and has antimicrobial properties that help against infections. However, removing the earwax is a smaller problem. Another, and a bigger problem, is in the way we remove earwax. Studies show that earwax gets jammed too deep in the canal when we use Q-tips that it needs professional help. What’s worse is that this habit can even rupture the eardrum. Wondering how to go about cleaning your ears? Here’s some help.

Step 1

2/6Step 1

Take a soft cloth and wet it with water. Use it to clean the outer canal of your ear, that is, the area you can see from outside.

Step 2

3/6Step 2

Take baby oil or mineral oil or make any of the following solutions:

– Saline solution with half a teaspoon and half cup warm water

– Hydrogen peroxide (solution of 3% or lower) with water in equal parts

Step 3

4/6Step 3

Take a cotton swab and soak in the solution or take a dropper if you are using baby or mineral oil. Tilt your head so that the ear that needs cleaning faces the sky. Hold the cotton swab/dropper above it and drop three to four drops in your ear canal.

Step 4

5/6Step 4

Press the triangular cartilage on the outer surface of your ear canal. Massage it gently in a circular motion. This will help circulate the solution better.

Step 5

6/6Step 5

Tilt your head on the other side and let the solution drain out. Repeat for the other ear.

(Images Courtesy: Shutterstock/Thinkstock)

Disclaimer: The above information is generic in nature and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.


Positive effects of stress

Feburary 17, 2017

How stress can be good for you

1/7How stress can be good for you

“Too little produces a bland, dull meal; too much may choke you,” said Donald Tubesing about spices. You’d be surprised to know that the same saying can be applied to stress too! Stress is so much like spice – in the right proportion, it enhances the flavor of a dish.

In scientific terms, good stress is called “eustress.” Eustress is the spark that drives us to achieve more, to improve the quality of our life, to ask for a raise, to fight for justice, or simply go on a holiday. So, here is a list of positive effects of stress.

It boosts brainpower

2/7It boosts brainpower

Low-level of stress helps in the production of brain chemicals called neurotrophins and strengthens the connection between neurons in the brain. In fact, this can be the primary mechanism by which exercising (a physical stressor) helps boost productivity and concentration. Short-term psychological stressors can have a similar effect, as well.

It can increase short-term immunity

3/7It can increase short-term immunity

When your body responds to stress, it prepares itself for the possibility of what is to come. The way our body does it is by producing extra interleukins, a chemical that help regulate the immune system, providing at least a temporary defensive mechanism.

It can make you stronger