Is Cotton Swabs Good For Cleaning Ears? This Will Surely Make You Never Want To Use It (Study)

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Jan 04, 2017 01:42 AM EST

Eckerd brand cotton swabs sit on a shelf at an Eckerd Drug store April 5, 2004 in Warrington, Pennsylvania. (Photo : Getty Images/William Thomas Cain)

Most people use cotton swabs as an easy method to clean their ears. But what most of them don't know is whether or not it is safe to use. Recently, there have been several studies conducted to show if using cotton swabs is advisable or not.

According to Huffington Post, whether a person should use a cotton swab or not depends on the purpose. But in order to understand why someone doesn't need a swab, one needs to understand why they have ear wax. The gross piece of chunk that is there in the ears are for protection.

As per Douglas Backous, M.D of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNSF), "The purpose of earwax really is to keep your ear canal clean."

Now, earwax not only give protection to the ears, it also prevents dust and dirt from entering the ears. However, using cotton swabs is termed unsafe since it pushes the earwax deeper into the ears.  Interestingly, the human body is quite mysterious than anyone can imagine. 

The ears have the capacity to clean themselves. It doesn't require any external method to keep it clean. Once the earwax dries, normal facial movements such as chewing food or laughing pushes the wax out of the ear opening. It is as simple as that.

As per CNN, the journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery has also mentioned that the swabs are inappropriate to clean earwax. They have also mentioned in the guidelines given to patients that mentions avoiding putting  anything smaller in the ears.

The authors of the guidelines are also quite happy to see that patients too are willing to know about self care apart from the clinicians. In this regard, they have mentioned not only cotton swabs, but also toothpicks, hair pins, etc should not be inserted into the ears.

As per the chairman of guideline update committee, Dr. Seth Schwartz,these smaller objects no matter how soft , tend to cause cuts in the ear as well as serious damage to the ear canal, leading to hearing loss, dizziness, etc.

Even though the journal that was published in 2008 had to wait for an update, the several studies conducted in the related field didn't make many changes to the observation. However, the latest guidelines contain a list of Do's and Don't's for everyone suffering with issues on earwax buildup.

 

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