When your ears become itchy and you are not hearing as well as you should, then you have a build-up of earwax. And earwax is annoying which is why you have a box of cotton swabs or Q-Tips which they are commonly known as since you go by the name of the common brand. Parents always have a box of cotton swabs as well so they can clean out their children’s ears if they sense that their ears are becoming clogged up. However, it is time to put those cotton swabs away. There are three significant reasons to stop using them.
You Need Earwax
Earwax, which is also known as cerumen, seems annoying. However, the fact of the matter is that it keeps your ears protected from dust, particles, and microbes by trapping them. Cerumen serves you by protecting your ear canal protected and keeps the delicate skin in your ear canal protected by foreign particles.
You also have to remember that most of the time, your ears will clear out old earwax on its own. Old earwax falls out when you are bathing as well, and if there is ever a time when your earwax does not fall out of your ears and becomes impacted, then you can go to the doctor. Your doctor will wash it away by using a syringe injecting water into your ear. Then you will have a basin placed at the bottom of the ear so that the impacted cerumen falls out.
You will be instructed to put drops of mineral oil several times a day a week before the doctor removes your impacted earwax. The mineral oil will loosen it up so it can be washed easily. Sometimes, the mineral oil on its own will help flush out the impacted wax which means you would not necessarily need to have your ears washed out. There are also gentle solutions that are available at drugstores to help flush out the earwax as well that is impacted. This way, a trip to the doctor would not be necessary.
However, that is only an issue if the earwax is dried up and accumulating in your ears to the point that it brings out discomfort and impacts your hearing. You never want to remove all of your earwax as you need it so it can do its job.
Cotton Swabs Can Cause Hearing Damage
If you think that your hearing is impacted negatively by impacted earwax, if you keep using cotton swabs, it can hurt your hearing as well. That is because you are taking a risk by causing harm to your ear canal and eardrum if you keep using the cotton swab to clean your ear. That is because you are not going to know how deep you are inserting the swab into your ear which means if you push it too far, it will puncture an eardrum. That will be extremely painful and can hurt your hearing as well.
Not to mention, when you are inserting the cotton swab, you are not taking the earwax out. You are pushing it further into your ear canal which can cause it to become impacted. That defeats the purpose of what you are trying to do.
You Can End Up With An Infection
As you know your earwax is there to help keep your ear canals protected from foreign particles and microbes by trapping them. If you keep removing your earwax, then you will end up with dry and itchy ears. Cerumen also serves your ear canal as a lubricant. Therefore, when there is not enough wax in your ears, not only will your ears feel uncomfortable, but you will increase your chances of developing a preventable ear infection. And ear infections can be quite painful.
The lesson is that you need that earwax unless it is causing you discomfort due to build-up. Then there are solutions in order to loosen it up if it is impacted. Those cotton swabs will not help you in any way at all. They will cause you to potentially lose your hearing if you damage your inner ear by using it. And they can easily increase your chances of developing an infection. Do your ears a favor and toss them away!