Although proper ear hygiene is a topic surrounded by many doubts, uncertainties and myths, we know for certain that keeping the ear clean is essential to avoiding hearing problems. But what is the best way to clean your ears? For many years, cleaning the ear with cotton swabs has raised many questions: Is this kind of cleaning healthy? Could it lead to hearing damage? In this article, you will find out more about if, when and how you should clean your ears using cotton buds.
Cotton buds are lightweight plastic sticks with small balls of stiffened cotton wool attached to the ends. Despite their inconspicuous appearance, they are one of the most commonly found household items.
Contrary to popular belief, cotton buds shouldn't be used to clean the inside of your ears, as the pressure that can be applied can lead to the occurrence of some hearing disorders. Instead, they should be used to clean the outer part of the ear. Improper use of cotton swabs can lead to dizziness as well as injuries to the three tiny bones in the middle ear.
Although it is important to avoid the accumulation of earwax, cleaning your inner ear with cotton buds may pose a real risk. While cotton buds may be fine for cleaning the outer ear, if used incorrectly, they can damage your hearing in the following ways:
Special care should be taken when using cotton buds for babies, as their ears are even more sensitive.
Earwax is a well-known substance that forms inside the ear and it is a natural substance that protects the ear from bacteria.
If you are experiencing an earwax plug or earwax buildup and wish to clean your ears without cotton buds, all you have to do is carefully wash the outside of your ear with soap and water to support the natural cleaning action that the organ ensures in complete autonomy. For a more thorough cleaning of the ear canal, there are also special seawater-based sprays available in pharmacies.