Friday 6 January 2017

Why You Should Stop Using Cotton Buds In Your Ear Immediately

Cotton Buds

Earwax is a finicky thing. By Murphy’s Law it’s not until you offer your friend the other ear bud to listen to that you realise how much earwax is festering in those listening holes of yours.

So what is the best way to clean them?

Updated guidelines published in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck surgery determined using things like cotton buds, hair pins, tooth pick or ever car keys to remove earwax can cause cuts to your ears.

A small cut can dislocate your hearing bones and lead to problems like dizziness, hearing loss and ringing in your ears.

Plus, by using cotton buds you are only pushing the earwax further into the canal of your ear which could potentially do some serious harm to your hearing.

Like Roberto A Ferdman for The Independent points out, cotton buds are “one of the only major consumer products whose main purpose is precisely the one that the manufacturers explicitly warn against”.

On each pack of cotton buds is a warning label that reads: “Do not insert inside the ear canal”. And yet, we soldier on and ignore this warning.

"People come in with cotton-swab-related problems all the time," Otolaryngologist, Dennis Fitzgerald told The Independent.

"Any ear, nose and throat doctor in the world will tell you they see these all the time. People say they only use them to put make-up on, but we know what else they're using them for. They're putting them inside their ears."

One of the most memorable moments in recent pop culture involving cotton buds (yes, a very niche pop culture sub setting), was when Lena Dunham’s character on girls accidentally pushed the cotton bud in too far after experiencing a particularly bad bout of OCD.

Dunham’s character ended up in hospital and the actress tweeted after the season two episode aired, “If all I’ve done on this earth is scare you out of using Q-Tips (the US cotton bud equivalent), I will die a happy and purposeful woman”.

Cotton Buds

"People have been led to think that it's normal to clean their ears - they think that earwax is dirty, that it's gross or unnecessary," Dennis told The Independent. "But that's not true at all."

For those who want to clean their ears, Professional Practice Manager at Connect Hearing said we should be using “washers” instead.

"My recommendation would be to use a washer rather than an ear bud,” Julie told Australian website Mamamia. “I’ve found that it does just as good a job. You also then don’t have the temptation of sticking it in further like you do with an ear bud.”



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