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Are you one of those who do this— an irreversible, widely popular, and unhealthy action? If you are wondering what– we are talking about inserting cotton-tipped swabs into your ears. Is your answer, ‘yes’? According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, experts strongly discourage twirling cotton-tipped swabs in the ears.
3 Reasons To Avoid Twirling Cotton-Tipped Swabs In The Ears
1. It’s unnecessary
The ear is self-cleaning and doesn’t require routine maintenance. If you’re inserting swabs into your ears to remove earwax or prevent its buildup, think again! Earwax is produced within the ear canal and naturally migrates from deeper inside to outside. In exceptional cases, some people make more than the average amount of earwax, and for others (especially older adults) it becomes harder and drier than usual. Even in these situations, inserting a swab inside the ear is not the answer.
2. It may be harmful
Inserting a cotton-tipped swab (or any tool) into the ear can push the ear wax into the ear canal making it harder to remove or damage the ear canal or eardrum. This may cause pressure in the ear and diminish hearing sense, or even worse— it may cause painful ear infections.
3. Earwax is not a sign of poor hygiene
Here’s where the misunderstanding comes! Earwax is not a sign of poor hygiene, some people make more earwax, while others make less. Earwax is there for good reasons.
- It is a natural moisturizer, preventing the skin inside the ear from becoming too dry
- traps dirt and dust before they can reach deep into the canal
- absorbs dead skin cells and debris
- prevents bacteria and other infectious organisms from reaching the inner ear.