When it comes to ear cleaning, most people use cotton swabs to eliminate the accumulated earwax. There are even specialized ones for children. Unfortunately, according to ear health experts, cotton swabs can do more harm than good.
Namely, they can lead to damage of the hearing and balance. However, do we know the real reasons why they pose a threat to the health of our ears and why we should clean them in a different way?
How should we clean our ears and keep them healthy? Answers to these and more questions in the sections that follow!
5 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Using Cotton Swabs
- They can damage your hearing
Whenever you place an object in the ear, there is some risk of damaging the eardrum and canal. Often times, we do not know how deep the swab goes into the ear and even a small move, if it is the wrong one, can cause damage. Plus, they can push the earwax deeper into your ear and causing hearing problems.
- Increase the risk of infection
The wax in our ears acts as a natural lubricant and if you clean the ears a bit too often, you may experience an itchy and dry sensation in the ears. When there is insufficient wax in the ears, the chance for an infection increases. Why is this so? – Because the wax serves as a protection from external bacteria.
- An injury
Though cotton swabs are soft, this does not mean that they cannot hurt you accidentally. When you apply more pressure than needed, you can harm the eardrum. Plus, the sticks of the buds are quite hard and sharp and can cause scratches.
- The ears can self-clean
Despite what you may think, our ears have the ability to self-clean. Namely, with every jaw movement, the wax is being pushed outwards towards the outer ear. Whenever you shower, use a moist finger (but not overly wet!) or a clean clothe to gently cleanse the ear section. Remember to clean the area behind the ears.
- The earwax is actually beneficial
In addition to having antibacterial properties, earwax prevents bugs from going into the ears and also lubricates the ears and prevents infections.
How to Clean the Ears Safely
Despite being able to clean themselves, the ears require external cleaning from time to time. And, to do this, you need no cotton swabs. To properly clean them, you will need clean water, a syringe, a bowl, a towel, and hydrogen peroxide for household use.
Fill one bowl with lukewarm water. Drop several drops of hydrogen peroxide and mix it. Then, on a table, put a towel underneath your face in order to collect the discharge from the ear.
Now, collect the mixture into a plastic syringe and begin with the right ear. Pull it backwards and upwards with the right hand.
Raise the syringe above the ear and gently start squeezing it for the water to go into the ear canal.
Wait for the wax to go out from the ear. Usually, it requires 5 minutes.
Repeat the same with the other ear.