You Shouldn’t Clean Your Ears With Cotton Swabs, Here’s Why

If you use cotton swabs to clean your ear, stop immediately. Some people reportedly got ear infections after cleaning their ears with cotton swab. Read more details here.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Aug 18, 2019
You Shouldn’t Clean Your Ears With Cotton Swabs, Here’s Why

While most of us do this, it is not safe. Cleaning ears with cotton swabs may lead to fatal ear infection! As per doctors, this practice may affect your hearing ability and can even give you a life-threatening skull infection.

In a recent real-life incident, a 37-year old Australian woman developed a serious ear infection due to her habit of cleaning her ear with a cotton swab every night. She was doing this for almost four to five years when one day she decided to visit a doctor due to extreme unbearable pain in her left year. The doctor then told her that her about the infection. 

The fibers of cotton swab got accumulated in her years over time which then becomes infected. Not just that, it reached to her skull and impacted that too. Even though her infection removal surgery was successful, she suffered permanent hearing loss!

In a similar story, a 31-year old man in the UK reportedly got ear infection after the tip of the cotton swab got stuck in his ear. Though this man was lucky enough as the infected tissue was successfully removed from his ear without any hearing loss. These are just two cases that got hyped, but there are a lot of similar instances where people lost their hearing power because of such exercise. While some minor injuries heal on their own, severe injuries may lead to permanent hearing loss.

Talking about this horrifying incident in an interview to ‘That’s Life’, Jasmine told that her doctor immediately after inspecting her ear told her that they need to do surgery as soon as possible to remove the infected skull tissue. It was a 5-hour long surgery after which the doctors reconstructed her ear canal.

Also Read: Treating Ear Infection the Natural Way

People think that cotton swabs or Q-tips are safe for cleaning ears but in reality, they are not. No doctor supports using cotton for ear cleaning. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Headad and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNSF), "you should avoid putting things in your ears including cotton swabs. Using a swab to clean the ear can be counterproductive and push earwax back into the ear. What's more, cotton swabs or other tools may cause irritation or even injury to the ear, such as a punctured eardrum or ear infection.”

Also Read: Who is at a risk of developing an Ear Infection?

Experts suggest that you must not put cotton swabs in your ears as our ears are very delicate and can get easily hurt. People think that ear wax is bad and therefore use cotton swabs or ear candling to clear it but it is good for us. Ear wax helps lubricate the skin in the ear canal and prevents bacteria buildup in the ear.

However, having excessive wax may contribute to hearing problems, if not treated on time. Even then, you must not try to remove it yourself as it is risky. Consulting an ENT specialist is advised.

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