While cotton swabs are good for many things, cleaning your ears isn’t one of them. Yet despite this, people still often refer to them as ear picks. Cleaning your ears with q-tips, as they are also known, can be very dangerous.
The Dangers of Cleaning Your Ears with Q-Tips
Your ears have cells that produce ear wax. Its main purpose is to protect your eardrum from damage, which is why it builds up over time. Some of it will reach the outer area of the ear, too. That’s the part you need to clean to keep your hearing up to par.
But cleaning your ears with q-tips may cause a series of problems. Because of its shape, it can easily push the wax further down the ear canal. Over time, you’ll have impacted ear wax that can affect your hearing. Also, one wrong move and the q-tip can come in direct contact with your eardrum. This can rupture it, which always results in excruciating pain. Moreover, it could also cause conductive hearing loss.
What Are the Alternatives?
Instead of cleaning your ears with q-tips, or any other similar object, use water and soap to do it. You can also combine water with hydrogen peroxide to soften and clean the built-up ear wax. If you don’t want to do this at home, you can go to your doctor.
If wax continues to build up at a fast pace, it may be a sign of other health-related issues. Seek professional help to see what’s causing the problem. There are many safe and effective treatment options that can alleviate the symptoms in a short time.