Ear Specialists Explain 6 Reasons to Stop Cleaning Ears With Cotton Buds

Most people use cotton buds to clean their ears.  It is generally believed that these gentle products are ideal for this purpose but turns out that they aren’t. In fact, cotton buds can be quite bad for the ears.  They are bad for you on so many levels.  In some cases, they may cause a severe reaction, such as a brain infection!

Reasons to Stop Cleaning Ears With Cotton Swabs

Here are some of the valid reasons why you shouldn’t insert cotton swabs in your ears:

  1. Cotton Swabs Push the Wax Further In

When you use cotton swabs you are basically pushing the dirt back inside, instead of scooping it out.   Simply put, you are forcing it deeper in and pushing it up against the eardrums.  This can eventually lead to rupturing of the eardrum and even an impaction.

  • You Could Dry Out Your Ear

Earwax is not a bad thing, though. It is packed with antibacterial properties which keep infections at bay.  If you remove it in excess, it can lead to irritation and dryness, making you more prone to ear infections.

  • It Will Cause The Wax to Be Harder To Get Rid Of

When you push the earwax back in the ear, you are causing it to stick together, which will make it more difficult for you to get rid of it.  Additionally, this wax can block up the eardrum and impede your hearing.

  • You May Hurt Yourself

While cotton swabs are soft and gentle you still run the risk of injuring your eardrum if you apply too much pressure.  What`s more, the sticks of cotton swabs are sharp, so you may accidentally scratch yourself.

  • It Will Clear Itself Out

As unbelievable as it seems, the ears are capable of self-cleaning. Each time you move the jaw, wax is pushed outwards towards the outer ear.

  • Earwax Has Lots Of Uses

Not only does it provide antibacterial benefits, but earwax has plenty of uses!  It keeps infections at bay, keeps the canal lubricated against itchiness, and works as an insect repellent, so you don’t end up with bugs in the ears.

As mentioned in the very beginning, in rare cases, cleaning the ear with cotton swabs may lead to bacterial infection called necrotizing otitis externa.  Toxic chemicals caused by this particular infection may cause seizure.

How To Clean The Ears The Right Way

Although the ears are capable of self-cleaning, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give them a good clean occasionally.  Here is how to do it in heathier, safer, and more effective way:

  • Get some lukewarm water and pour it in a bowl (extreme temperature can cause a reaction from the auditory nerve). You can add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, if you desire.
  • Take another bowl or a towel and place it under the face to catch the discharge from your ear.
  • Take a medical syringe or a bulb syringe and fill it with the water
  • Begin with the right ear.  Pull it backwards and upwards with the right hand.
  • Raise the syringe and squeeze it do that the water enters the ear canal.
  • Wait for the wax to leave the air.
  • Switch over to the left ear and repeat.