The road to hell is pawed with good intensions. The same premise can be applied for our hygienic habits.
We all want to be clean, fresh and keep our hygiene at high levels.
That is the main reason why we frequently clean our ears with a cotton swab.
But what most people do not know and realize is that by doing so, we do more harm to our ears than good.
Even the American Academy of Otolaryngology has warned against use of cotton swabs and other cotton applicators for cleaning ears.
Should the ear be cleaned?
The ear produces ear wax that accumulates on the outer ear. In an ideal world, you should never clean your ears.
By doing so, you are actually creating a vicious cycle. When you rub the skin of the ear, you force your body and your ear to produce and release histamine.
When you release histamine, your skin gets inflamed and irritated. And the more you scratch the skin of the outer ear, the more it itches.
Ideally, you want to clean your ear wax at the doctor. If you notice too much ear wax accumulation, visit the doctor and he/she can clean your ears.
If you still want to clean your ear, clean only the outer (external) ear.
Why you shouldn’t use cotton swabs?
We mentioned that the ear produced ear wax that accumulates on the outer ear.
What happens when you use cotton swabs to clean your ears is that you are pushing the wax into the internal area, where it can cause infections.
If the ear wax gets stuck in the ear drum, it can cause a series of complications.
First of all, by cleaning your ears with cotton swabs you risk fungus, viruses and bacteria from the outer ear to enter the inner ear.
The infections this “innocent” move can cause are extremely painful. Even worse, if you jam the ear wax deep inside the canal, you are risking hearing loss.
Last, but not least, in some cases, cleaning the ear with cotton swabs can push the wax further inside, damage the ear drum and the result is a rupture.
Items people use for cleaning ears
People use different items to clean their ears. The most frequently used item for cleaning ears is cotton swabs.
What many fail to realize is that cotton swabs are the worst thing you can put inside your ears.
Aside from cotton swabs, people also use hair pins, straws, paper clips, tweezers, and much more.
Can you safely clean your ears?
While the easy answer to the question “whether you should clean your ears with cotton swabs” is no, the more complex answer requires to dig deeper into the problem.
We all need to clean our ears from time to time, especially as there are people who accumulate ear wax faster than others.
But in reality, there is a safe and secure way to clean your ears.
The outer ear needs cleaning from time to time, and you can do so with just a little soap and water.
What people fail to understand that during shower and hair washing, we actually clean our ears.
During showers, a decent amount of water enters our ear canal and loosens up the wax.
So, instead of cleaning your ears with cotton swabs, have more regular showers.