We’ve Been Cleaning Our Ears Wrong!

Woman cleaning her ears with Q-tips.

Age old ear cleaning tradition would show that most people tend to clean their ears out with cotton swabs, because they are the product(s) we believe are the most effective for cleaning out ear wax, water trapped within the ear canal from swimming, showers, and more. This isn’t so, say medical doctors – and you could even be causing yourself permanent damage to your ear drum and ear canal. Lionesse has uncovered some of the details behind the methods to cleaning out our ears, what we’re doing wrong, the types of potential damage we are causing ourselves, and the products in which we should be using.

Potential Damage
Some of the potential damage that can be caused from improper ear cleaning can be:

  • Eardrum rupture – this can lead to permanent hearing loss if severe enough; is also exceptionally painful to experience
  • Loss of Hearing – this can be permanent and irreversible
  • Infection – ear infection can present itself if the ear drum has nothing protecting it (i.e.wax)
  • Irritation – this can be caused by digging too deep into the ear canal, or causing abrasion against the ear canal
  • Ear Pain – this can happen anytime the ear canal is toyed with in an unnatural manner.

Woman holding several cotton buds in her hands.

Products to Avoid
There are products in which we should stop using right now while we’re ahead, say doctors. Doctors are warning patients to avoid using cotton swabs, also known as Q-Tips, within the ear canal to avoid rupturing the ear drum, causing irritation, infection, and removing too much of the beneficial ear wax within the ear. Believe it or not, that waxy stuff actually has a purpose to serve – and those purposes are to protect the ear drum against debris and pollutants, and also to prevent infection of the ear drum. If you remove too much of it, what is left behind to shield the ear drum? Avoid using cotton swabs or any other elongated object to remove ear wax, water from the ear, or even to itch the ear. Doctors say you are also not supposed to put anything smaller into your ear than that of the size of your elbow. 

Products We Should Be Using
Rather than use items such as cotton swabs to clean out the ear, doctors recommend using an ear bulb with a syringe to extract excess wax from the ear safely. They are similar to the sort you would use for cleaning out a baby’s nose. You can use some water with the syringe or use the syringe alone. There are also instructional manuals for safety that come along with the syringe and bulbs themselves, providing you with directions straight from the manufacturer. When in doubt, asking your primary care physician is always a smart idea.

Contrary to popular belief, cleaning out your ears is actually quite unnecessary due to the fact that your ears are self-cleaning on their own. They are capable of flushing excess wax out of the ear canal as needed.

Lionesse hopes this helpful and informative article has helped you to make smart decisions when it comes to your ears and ear health. Count on us to always bring you the latest news and breakthroughs regarding beauty, skin, hair, style and health.

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