It’s using a cotton swab, right? Well it turns out that whoever came up with this method, wasn’t examining what really happens when you use swabs for ear hygiene.
First of all, ears are delicate. You don’t want to be shoving things in them, even if they do have a cotton tip at the end. You could even impair your hearing if you clean them the wrong way. Unfortunately, there are so many people out there which still use old school ear cleaning methods that can definitely be dangerous. It’s said that 7,000 people in England end up hospitalized due to using cotton swabs that end up damaging their ears. Turns out that number is higher than razor blade related injury!
Cotton swabs = Unsafe for ear cleaning.
Health care professionals as well as doctors have been pushing for years now to stop the usage of cotton swabs for ear cleaning.
Cotton swabs are NOT safe to clean your ears with
You really shouldn’t be sticking anything in your ear, especially a cotton swab. Chances are all this does is push wax further into your ear canal causing major blockage, leading to impaired hearing.
Is earwax dirty?
Earwax is produced by the glands in your ears and having some wax present is normal. It actually has antibacterial properties and is part of a natural defense system which actually cleans and lubricates the ear canals.
When should you clean your ears?
Ears actually clean themselves. They cycle the wax and dirt out, towards the openings. There are some individuals which need not clean their ears at all as it occurs naturally. Genetics usually determines this, as other people do indeed have a wax buildup that can get pretty nasty looking as well as not feel so comfortable. That’s when cleaning is a must, but it must be done safely. Seek a doctor if their seems to be a lot of wax and you end up feeling pain or an ache.
Wax appears on the outer part of your ear canal.
This means that when people have a buildup of wax on the inside, they usually have pushed the outer wax into the inner area with a cotton swab. The deeper you go with a swab, the deeper you are pushing the wax. You can use cotton swabs effectively to clean the outer part of the ear, just don’t put it inside your ear.
So how do you clean the inner part of the ear?
A salt water solution can work great. You just insert a little room temperature salt water and swish around. Then flush it out with room temp water.
You can also use baby, mineral or ear cleaning oils. A few drops in the canal can be safe and effective, you just have to be careful on whether or not you are allergic to any specific oils. Drop a little on your wrist and wait an hour to see if any reaction occurs.
Hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide can also be useful for cleaning out wax from canals.
Irrigation and Syringing.
This can be performed from a doctor or you can buy a kit yourself and carefully perform the irrigation method which usually consists of a saline solution.
Finally, if the problem continues and the above methods are not providing relief, you should see a doctor, specifically an ear, nose and throat doctor. They can do a wax extraction or give you prescription drops to try.
What about ear candles?
This is dangerous method that hasn’t been approved by anyone and hasn’t even been shown to be effective. It can cause burns, ear obstructions (due to wax from the candle entering the ear), and ear perforations. Stay away from this method and do not attempt.