Dr. Douglas Dedo, MD

Why You Should Never Clean Your Ears With Cotton Swabs

ear

According to reports by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nasal allergies impact almost 50 million people throughout the country. These allergies can create itchy symptoms in your eyes, ears, nose, and throat. It might be tempting to scratch that itch with a trusty cotton swab. At the very least, it might clean away the wax.

 

Unfortunately, you should never clean your ears with a cotton swab. Here’s why:

Earwax impaction

 

If you attempt to clean your canal with a Q-Tip or cotton swab, you’re significantly increasing the risk for wax impaction. This occurs when the wax in your canal builds up and creates a blockage. This can cause reduced hearing and even pain in some people.

 

Wax can also harden along the length of your canal, causing pain and other problems. This can result in the need for wax removal by your local Palm Beach ENT.

 

It cleans itself

 

Many people rarely need to clean their ears, especially the inside. Though the outer ear should be cleaned occasionally with a washcloth or cotton swab, the inside will get rid of the wax on its own. Most often, it falls out unbeknownst to you when you’re sleeping.

 

There’s a huge risk for injury

 

A punctured eardrum is a painful experience. Reaching this sensitive, delicate organ is easy to do with your cotton swab. A misstep in your bathroom or a sudden accident while cleaning your ears can make you jab your eardrum while you’re cleaning, resulting in a puncture. But eardrums are so sensitive that even gentle cleaning can cause a rupture. This injury can take a while to heal and result in hearing loss if the injuries are bad enough.

 

Doctors now recommend that you should never put an object smaller than your elbow into your ear. This includes cotton swabs, toys, hair pins, and more. Luckily, there are home remedies that enable you to clean your ears. You can always visit a doctor for wax removal as well.

 

If you’re experiencing issues with wax build-up, you should visit your local ENT doctor for the best advice. Whether you have a sinus infection, a ruptured eardrum, or a throat infection, the doctors at the Gardens Cosmetic Center are here to help. Call today to book an appointment.s