I know, I KNOW you shouldn't root around in your ear with cotton buds hunting for the precious gold to be mined but for many people that's their first port of call when it comes to dealing with ear issues.
Ears are so forgettable. They just sit there on the side of your head, acting as a display for your earrings, a shelf for the arms of your glasses to rest on and of course, they allow you to hear what's going on.
It's only when you have issues with them that you realise how great it is when they are problem free.
I'm sure I'm not alone to experience the pain of an ear infection. Once I was on holiday with our friends and their eldest son got an infection after swimming pool water got into his ear. He was in an incredible amount of pain which spoiled the last few days of his holiday and after seeing a pharmacist there was some concern that he wouldn't be allowed to fly home own schedule.
Luckily he got great medical attention and was able to join us on our flight.
My husband suffers from ear wax build up which can be painful and inconvenient, affecting your hearing for obvious reasons.
He used to go to the nurse at our local doctor's practice to get his ears syringed and I still remember the way he came home from his appointment so happy with a renewed spring in his step because his hearing had been restored.
In recent years that treatment has not been available in our local area and we have had to resort to buying over the counter ear drops or using gently warmed olive oil dripped into the affected ear to loosen ear wax.
My husband absolutely hates that treatment which he finds uncomfortable and messy.
Luckily you can opt for a simple, pain free, professional ear suction treatment at a specialist hearing clinic in the world famous Harley Street in London.
Ear wax is of course vital to keep ears clean and healthy and lubricated. Occasionally though wax might build up excessively and block ears causing a variety of symptoms including itchiness, muffled or unclear hearing, tinnitus, earache and occasionally even dizziness.
It's important to book an appointment to check out the reason for the blockage and to plan treatment. It's very important not to insert anything into the ear in an attempt to remove ear wax yourself. This can push ear wax deeper into the ear, potentially doing damage to the ear drum which can cause permanent hearing loss.
Cotton buds are useful little things, perfect for cleaning up makeup smudges, nail varnish mistakes, applying makeup and cleaning the outer ear to name a few uses but leave the inner ear cleaning to qualified professionals.