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Why you shouldn’t use cotton swabs.

Cotton swabs are great to use for many things, however, when it comes to your ears they should be avoided. Audiologists as well as other medical experts advise their patient’s not to use cotton swabs. Many catastrophes can result from using cotton swaps, such as impacted wax to puncturing your eardrum. The take home point is that nothing should be placed inside the ear to remove dirt or debris.

The ear canal has specialized cells that produce cerumen, commonly known as ear wax. The purpose of ear wax is to keep our ears moist and for protection. For some people, ear wax builds up and causes decreased ability to hear. When this occurs, many resort to using swabs to remove the excess wax, causing more harm than good. The eardrum can be easily reached with a swab, and because the eardrum is so delicate, it can be easily ruptured by using even the gentlest pressure when using a swab. When you rupture an ear drum the pain can be severe, and the ear may also leak a clear fluid. While a punctured eardrum will heal, it may take a while and can even lead to a conductive hearing loss.

Because of this many people may ask; do we really need to clean our ears, and the answer is: yes and no. The outer ear or pinna benefits from a good cleaning every now and then due to dirt and debris. This can be accomplished with a little soap, water and a washcloth while you shower. In most cases, the ear canal does not need to be cleaned. During hair washing or showers, enough water enters the ear canal to loosen the wax that has accumulated. Additionally, the skin in your ear canal naturally grows in an outward, spiral pattern. As it sloughs off, ear wax goes with it. Most of the time the wax will loosen and fall out on its own while you sleep. Therefore, the need for a cotton swab isn’t necessary.

For those of you who have heavy wax build-up, a trip to the doctor, ENT or an Audiologist may be necessary. The process is virtually painless and is effective at removing impacted wax.  If you are experiencing significant wax build up in your ears, or if you think wax could be affecting your hearing ability then you should contact either your primary care physician or a hearing healthcare professional and have your ears examined.

If you would like to read the full article click on the following link: http://www.healthyhearing.com/report/47773-Swab-hearing-loss.

Have a great day and until next time, happy listening.

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