We’ve been brought up thinking cotton buds are the best way to clean our ears from wax, but is that really true?Cotton swabs may seem harmless enough, but they can be dangerous when used to clean your ears. Although some people swear by using cotton swabs (Q-Tips) to remove excess wax and debris from their ear canals, medical experts will warn you not to try it.
source/image: BBC Earth Lab
They 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.
Your body already has a way to deal with earwax it no longer needs. Chewing, other jaw movements, and skin growing inside your ear will push old earwax out naturally. Using cotton swabs, however, can push the wax deeper into your ear canal. You might also seriously damage sensitive ear canal skin or your eardrum.
The safest way to remove wax buildup from your ears is to visit your doctor. At your appointment, your doctor can use special instruments, like a cerumen spoon, forceps, or suction device, to clear the blockage. Many offices also offer professional irrigation.If you choose to try to remove wax at home, the following are the safest methods to try on your own:
- Damp cloth
- Earwax softener
- mineral oil
- baby oil
- hydrogen peroxide