Like most Americans, cleaning out your ear with a cotton swab is something you do every day. It is part of your morning routine, or something you do every time you get out of the shower. Open the medicine cabinet, take a cotton swab out, stick it in your ear to clean it out. Seems harmless right? Well, you may be doing more harm than good. The cotton swab can cause some serious damage to your ears and hearing health.
Health problems like punctured eardrums, impacted earwax, and other complications can result when people jab cotton swabs in their ear canals. While aiming to clean their ears, people may accidentally damage their delicate eardrum or push the earwax deeper inside causing harm, including temporary hearing loss.
What many people don’t know is that ears are typically self-cleaning. Dead skin cells and oils and sweat will work their way out of the ear canal. If you believe there’s too much, you can simply take a damp rag or Kleenex to wipe the exterior of your ear lobe. No need to go digging inside your ears with a cotton swab.
If you wear hearing aids, it’s important to keep them clean and to regularly ensure proper maintenance to keep your ears healthy. Read out page for the proper ways to care for your hearing aids.