I’m an ear doctor – you cleaned your ears WRONG

Cleaning your ears with cotton swabs is incredibly satisfying.

But if your parents haven’t already warned you, experts say using earplugs could be dangerous.

Using a cotton swab to clean your ears can be dangerous, but there are other ways you can get rid of earwax


Using a cotton swab to clean your ears can be dangerous, but there are other ways you can get rid of earwaxPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

Before we get into why, let’s look at why earwax should actually be left untouched.

Earwax isn’t a sign you’re unclean or dirty — it’s completely natural.

It is produced by the cells lining your outer ear and ear canal and is made up of a natural oily substance produced in the sebum glands.

This natural oil gets mixed with dirt, sweat and dead skin cells, which comes out when you clean your ears with a cotton swab.

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Earwax acts as a barrier and protects against viruses and harmful bacteria entering the ear canal.

The ears are usually self-cleaning.

But if you have a buildup of earwax that’s making your ears feel full, you have ear pain, or you’re having trouble hearing, then you may want to clean your ears.

dr Jerry Lin, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the University of Louisville, said sometimes you have to see a doctor.

But there are things you can do at home – that don’t involve earbuds.

He explained that it’s okay to remove a little wax from the front of the ear, but that you should never put a cotton swab in there.

He explained: “Q-Tips are a bad idea.

“They take up a large part of the diameter of the ear canal. Therefore, when they are used, the wax is pressed deeper into the ear canal.

“In the worst case, the wax could be pressed against the eardrum and possibly even cause an eardrum perforation.”

This can potentially cause hearing loss, ear pain, itchy ears, or ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

dr Lin also warned against some online ear cleaning hacks.

You shouldn’t try trends like “ear candling,” said Dr. Lin, in which hot wax is dripped into your ear.

Another viral hack is to pour hydrogen peroxide in your ears while lying on your side before sitting up and letting it drain.

While some doctors use this as a legitimate ear cleaning strategy, there is a risk of skin irritation and blistering.


1. Ear drops

dr Lin said using ear drops can help wax ears.

The liquid solutions help thin and soften the earwax, causing it to dissolve and exit the ear.

You can buy ear drops from pharmacies and they’re usually available under brand names like Otex and Otosan.

You should always read the label when taking any medication as you need to know how many ear drops to administer.

Speaking to Insider, Dr. Lin that the drops usually work instantly, but if there’s stubborn wax it may take a few tries to get rid of it.

A previous study published in 2018 found that using ear drops for five days was more likely to remove earwax completely than not using anything at all.

2. Baking soda solution

Another way to clean your ears only requires something that many people already have in their kitchen cupboards.

dr Lin suggested an easy-to-make baking soda solution — but said you should only use this method for two weeks.

All you have to do is dissolve half a teaspoon of baking soda in water and use a dispenser or dropper bottle to pour it in.

Then tilt your head to one side and place five to ten drops of the solution in your ear.

After about an hour, the wax should have softened and you will then need to flush the ear with a rubber syringe filled with warm water.

When you’re done, you’ll need to tilt your head to the side to drain the water.

Be sure to dry your ear with a clean, dry towel, and you can do this once a day when the ear clears.

3. Olive oil

You can also use natural means to clean your ears, e.g. B. Oil – but make sure it’s baby oil, mineral oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.

These can all be used to soften and remove earwax and again you will need to use a dropper bottle to put it in your ear.

Wait a day or two for the wax to soften, then rinse again with warm water as explained in the baking soda technique.

After you dump the water out of your ear, you need to dry your ear again.

When should you remove earwax?

Some people enjoy cleaning their ears, but as experts have said – in most cases you don’t need to clean them and nature will take its natural course.

When too much wax has built up, there are a few symptoms to look out for.

The NHS says if you have hearing loss you may need to clean your ears.

Other symptoms include ear pain or a feeling that your ears are blocked, or ringing or buzzing in your ears (tinnitus).

Some people may also feel dizzy and sick (vertigo) if they have a buildup of earwax.

If your symptoms haven’t gone away after five days, you should see a doctor.

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https://www.the-sun.com/health/4143435/specialist-never-use-ear-buds-tricks/ I’m an ear doctor – you cleaned your ears WRONG

Sarah Y. Kim

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