If you use a Q-tip to clean your ears you will really want to read this.
Yes, we know that it feels satisfying to use a Q-Tip to clean out your ears. After all, if it’s removing earwax how can there be a problem with using them? However, did you know that earwax serves a purpose? It’s actually important protection for your ears and can prevent the growth of fungus. Find out more about why your ENT doctor will tell you that a Q-Tip ear cleaning is probably not the answer.
Okay, so while Q-Tips aren’t evil most people don’t use them properly, which can result in damage or even hearing loss. Remember, ears are self-cleaning so you shouldn’t need to do a lot of work to keep them clean. A good rule of thumb is if you are putting the Q-Tip into your ear, you are doing it improperly. Just read the box of Q-Tips and you will see that they even tell you not to put Q-Tips directly into the ear, just around the outer ear.
So, what happens when you put a Q-Tip too far into your ear? Sometimes you can actually push the earwax even further into the ear, where it can become impacted. If you notice that you suddenly can’t hear or that hearing is muffled chances are good that you are dealing with impacted earwax. Also, shoving a Q-Tip into the ear can also increase your risk of puncturing your eardrum, which can result in permanent hearing loss.
If you notice that you are prone to excessive earwax buildup you can always turn to your ENT specialist, who can easily and safely flush out excess wax that your ear may not actually remove on its own. It will only take a few minutes to perform and sure, coming into the office may seem a little time-consuming but it’s much safer than using a cotton swab.
If you are noticing issues with your ears or have questions about how to properly care for them, it’s time to talk to an otolaryngologist that will be able to steer you in the right direction to protect these important assets.