Reasons Why You Should NOT Use Q-tips (Cotton Buds) For Cleaning Ears

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Cleaning Ears

Most people commonly use cotton buds or Q-tips for cleaning their ears. However, little did they know that using cotton buds can do more harm than good to their ears. No one will have faith in you if you say that small and soft objects like cotton buds, can harm your ears. In fact, even on the packages of most cotton buds, the manufacturers mention not to use it for cleaning ears.

It is a standard medical warning that does not insert anything inside your ear canal. All ENT specialists particularly warn against injecting anything inside your ear canal as it can cause severe illness and infections. However, according to recent surveys, the majority of people use cotton buds for cleaning their ears, whereas some use it for cleaning purposes and some for other stuff. Cotton buds were initially baby care products, but they became popular as ear cleaners.

Reasons Why it Isn’t Safe to Use Cotton Buds For Cleaning Ears:

There are few explanations why you should avoid the usage of cotton buds for cleaning ears, and some of them are:

1. It Can Cause Brain Infections

According to a recent report at Live Science, a patient admitted to the hospital had severe brain infection, and when doctors traced the cause. It led to a piece of cotton bud left behind in the left ear of the patient. That tiny piece of cotton bud caused life-threatening infection to the patient. Providentially, the doctors were able to remove the cause of disease and save the patient. Therefore, it is safe not to use cotton buds or Q-tips for cleaning ears to avoid infections.

2. Instead of Removing the Wax, it Pushes it Further in

Ear Wax cleaning with ear buds
Image by: Wikimedia

The majority of people use cotton buds to remove wax from their ears. It is a common perception that with the help of a cotton bud, we can take out all the wax from your ears. However, in reality, cotton buds push the wax further inside the ear rather than pulling it out. When you try to take the wax out with the help of a cotton bud, you only takeout a bit of it. By doing so, you are pushing a massive portion of wax deeper inside the ear, and it can pile up near the eardrums, which is very dangerous. If you keep on cleaning your ears with cotton buds, there’s a chance that your eardrums may get damage.

3. It Can Damage Your Eardrum

Aggressively cleaning ears can do more damage than good to your ears. Cotton buds look like simple soft things that can’t do any harm. But in reality, it can cause massive damage to your ears if not appropriately handled. Moreover, if you stick the cotton bud too deep inside your ear, you can apply pressure on your eardrums damaging them. Another issue with cotton buds is that its stick can cause scratches on your ear canal, making it more prone to infections.

4. Cotton Buds Can Cause Hardening of Wax

By cleaning ears with cotton buds, you tend to push the earwax further into the ear canal near the eardrum. The deeper the earwax, the harder it gets, and tighter it is to remove it. When the earwax gets too hard, you have to seek medical aid because it will cause hindrance in your hearing. Therefore, it is best to leave the earwax as it is because your ear will remove it on its own.

5. Wax is Essential For Healthy Ears

Ear wax acts as a shield against germs, dirt, and other harmful things from entering into your ear canal. Earwax acts as a natural cleanser for your ear canal, and it acts as a moisturizing agent for your ear canal. Moreover, ear wax contains chemical substances that have antibacterial and antifungal properties.

6. You Can Dry Out Your Ear

If you remove ear wax carelessly, you can even dry out your ear. Dry ears can irritate and make your ear more liable to infections. With no ear wax in the ear, canal, germs can most probably enter into your ear, causing infections.

I hope that you will stop using cotton buds for cleaning ears after going through this post. However, if you’re worried about the amount of earwax in your ear canal, leave it because your ear knows how to get rid of it on its own.

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