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Drop The Belief That Cotton Buds Are Good For Cleaning Your Ears; They Are Actually Not!

By: Shubham Ghosh

Many of us believe that cleaning our ears' interiors with cotton buds is safe, since the product is soft and suitable for a sensitive organ like ear. But, such a notion is not just wrong, it is harmful too. Really, is cotton ear buds not good? Well, to find out, read along.

Any attempt to clean the interiors of your ears should be preceded by a proper research or else, you might have to pay a heavy price in terms of hearing impairment, infection or long-term damage to the ears. Take extreme care when it comes to self-cleaning your ear as well.

Even if they are cotton swabs which you feel might be safe, they are not at all good in getting your ears rid of the wax.

Awareness drives are on to discourage this age-old practice, but still there are many people who risk their ears' health.

But why is it harmful to use cotton buds to clean ears and what are the bad effects? Here are some reasons and the harmful effects ear buds can cause, read on:

is cotton ear buds good

1. Sticking Anything Into The Ear Canals Is Dangerous: This action poses a serious threat to the delicate ear drums. Since you cannot see what's happening inside your ears, a little extra thrust can seriously injure the drum by perforating it and causing a permanent damage.

is cotton ear buds good

2. Pushing The Wax Deeper Inside: By using cotton swabs, people actually push the excess wax deeper into the ear canal, blocking it more as a result. This can also hamper the hearing ability. There is actually no need for the extra effort to clean up our ears, since they have a self-cleaning mechanism, as claimed by a research.

is cotton ear buds good

3. Earwax Is Not Exactly Dirty: Unlike most of us think, earwax or cerumen is not something dirty. It is produced naturally by the ear glands and it is healthy to have normal amount of wax in the ear, as it is known to lubricate the ear canals.

is cotton ear buds good

4. Using Cotton Buds Can Actually Hinder The Ears' Natural Cleaning Mechanism: Leave the ears to look after themselves. If you indeed feel any pain in them because of the accumulation of excessive wax or some other reason, consult a doctor.

So, is there no helpful remedy to treat our ears' inside?

Certainly there are. You can try these homemade solutions to flush out the dirt, if there is any, from the inside of your ears. These are safe and easy to use as well, have a look:

is cotton ear buds good

1. Put a few drops of salt-water solution inside your ears. The water shouldn't be very hot or cold.

is cotton ear buds good

2. Put a few drop of ear-cleaning oil or baby or mineral oil for cleaning the ear canal. Check that you are not allergic to any of those oil products before using them inside your ears.

is cotton ear buds good

3. Hydrogen or carbamide peroxide can also be effective in cleaning up the ear canals.

If you are still not having a relief from your ear sensation, then see an ENT who can either prescribe medication or use medical equipment to clean your ear. But, do not go back to the easy-to-use cotton buds if the water and oils fail to satisfy you.

Some people even go to the extreme of using iron pieces, pens, pencils or even candles to clean up their ears' interiors.

To them, our humble request is that "PLEASE do not misuse those materials and put yourself in an unwanted danger".

Trying things to create a sensational feeling in the ear for our enjoyment is understandable, but it is also our duty to ensure that the momentary enjoyment doesn't make us regret in the future. So, please be careful.

Read more about: ears, cotton, ear, safe, harmful
Story first published: Thursday, October 6, 2016, 15:30 [IST]
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