Since we were little, we have been repeatedly warned, "Never put anything in your ears," and "the majority of health experts do not recommend using cotton swabs to clean your ears." Cotton swabs are more harmful than helpful for cleaning. Do you know why?
1. Ear Canal Trauma
Vigorous rubbing of the ear canal with the cotton swab makes the ear canal very painful and develops some diseases like otitis external (inflammation of the ear canal) or otomycosis (fungal infection of ear canal).
2. Ear Drum Rupture
The eardrum is easily reached with a swab. Because the eardrum is so delicate, even a gentle push with a swab could rupture your eardrum. This impact can lead to a conductive hearing loss. – Reminder – please do not use a cotton swab!
3. Breaking the Auditory Ossicle
The malleus, incus, and stapes belong to the Auditory Ossicle. They are the 3 smallest bones in your entire body and they sit behind your eardrum. Simply pushing the cotton swab may break them and may cause hearing loss.
4. Dislodged swab tips
There were many incidents with the dislodged swab tips! You would need to get the ENT Doctor to remove it.
5. It is important to have some wax in your ears
Ear wax has lubricating and antibacterial qualities plus it can prevent infections. It also operates as an insect repellent to keep bugs and insects out of your ears.
So if you eliminate it too much, you will have a dried out itchy feeling and will be more vulnerable to infections. You may also be pushing the wax further in and completely blocking your eardrum.
Now that I have turned your world upside down, don’t worry, I have listed some solutions on how you can clean your ears without using a cotton swab.
You can use your pinky wrapped in a tissue to wipe your ears or you can use earwax softener to soften earwax for easier removal. You can also use olive oil, adding two to three drops of olive oil into your ears can soften earwax and it can work its way out.
If these remedies don’t work, it is best you make an appointment to see an ENT (ear, nose & throat), Doctor. Your doctor would be able to assist you.