Your ears require very little maintenance. However, since you only have two of them, here are some hints to protect and keep those two healthy:
NEVER use cotton-tipped applicators (such as Q-tips) in your ears! Cerumen, or ear wax, is natural, lubricates the canal, catches dirt particles, and naturally moves itself and debris to the outside.
If you remove the cerumen, your ears will most likely become itchy.
Using applicators in the ear canal can push the wax deeply into the canal creating even more difficult removal, scratching the canal results in infection and tear the skin of the canal with bleeding, or even perforate or tear the ear drum.
If a child observes adults using applicators in their ears, they mimic the adults, using them in their own ears -often with serious injuries!
To clean the wax:
Clean the cerumen from the outer ear canal with a moist washcloth wrapped around your finger.
Provided there is no perforation or hole in the ear drum, limited use of wax removal drops or hydrogen peroxide in the ear as well as allowing warm shower to enter the canal will help soften and remove the wax.
Avoid loud sounds:
Exposure to loud music, fireworks, firearms, motorcycles, aircraft, power tools, and other sources of loud sound may cause permanent nerve-type hearing loss - even with one exposure!
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, often accompanies such loss and is also often permanent.
When exposed to loud noise, always wear adequate approved ear protection.
Keep children away from such sounds; they can permanently lose their hearing, too.
Ear pain may not be due to the ear itself.
Other conditions, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disease, Eustachian tube dysfunction, tumors in the throat behind the nose, or referred pain from tumors or infections in the throat or voice box may cause pain in the ear.
If you have ear pain, see your physician or an otolaryngologist.
Recurrent ear infections or fluid in the middle ear in children can cause permanent damage to the ears and hearing.