Using cotton swabs to clean your ears can be dangerous enough though it may seem harmless enough. Medical experts are warning people not to try removing wax and debris from their ear canals.
Medical experts have seen many catastrophes resulting from using cotton swabs. From punctured eardrums to super impacted wax, there are many negative consequences associated with "do-it-yourself" ear cleaning.
From cotton swabs to toys, people use several items to clean their ears. Some of the most interesting seen in doctors' offices include:
- Cotton swabs
- Hair pins
- Pens and pencils
- Paper clips
While this is only a partial list, it's important to know that nothing should be placed inside the ear to get rid of dirt and debris. This is unsafe and could cause hearing loss or a damaged eardrum or ear canal.
The ear canal has specialized cells that produce ear wax. Ear wax accumulates much quicker for some people than others. This can lead to wax build-up that causes decreased competence to hear and in quite a lot of instances, pain. As an easy way to avoid seeing a medical professional, many people resort to using swabs to get rid of the excess wax, causing more harm than good.
The eardrum is easily reached with a swab. Because the eardrum is so delicate, it can be easily ruptured by using even the gentlest pressure when using a swab. The pain of punctured eardrum is severe and the ear may also leak a clear fluid. While a punctured eardrum will heal, it can take a while and can even lead to conductive hearing loss.
Is Cleaning Your Ears Necessary
The outer ear or pinna benefits from a good cleaning every now and then. This can be accomplished with a little soap, water, and a washcloth while you shower.
In most cases, the ear canal does not need to be cleaned. During hair washing or showers, enough water enters the ear canal to loosen the wax that has accumulated. In addition, the skin in your ear canal naturally grows in an outward, spiral pattern. As it sloughs off, ear wax goes with it. Most of the time the wax will loosen and fall out on its own while you are asleep. The need for a cotton swab is not necessary.
Solution for Build-up Wax
For those who have massive wax accumulated, a visit to the doctor may be required since doctors can effortlessly remove ear wax with a little peroxide mixed with water and injected into the ear. The process is virtually pain-free and is effective at removing impacted wax. If excess wax turns a frequent problem, ask your doctor how you can do the process yourself at home.
By Sowmya Sangam