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York Hearing Clinic Blog

Can Cotton Swabs Harm your Hearing?

Many people are under the impression that ear wax should be removed for personal hygiene, but doctors advice that you should not use cotton swabs to clean them, and you shouldn’t, in fact, even stick any object into the canal ear.

The  American Academy of Otolaryngology  has released a guideline stating that cotton swabs are not appropriate for removing ear wax. It is in fact not a bad thing to have wax in your ears, because it has antibacterial qualities to prevent infections. It waterproofs the canal preventing water from getting in and getting stuck and it also helps to lubricate the ear canal. Trying to get rid of wax using cotton swabs can result in pushing wax debris further down your ear tunnel, which can cause seriously damage to your hearing permanently.

Having wax pushed down your ear canal can also cause earache, ringing in the ear, a sense of the ear being blocked ,and can also cause you to permanently damage your hearing.

Cotton swabs are able to drive earwax up against the eardrum, which can result in a rupture of the eardrum or any other complication that can lead to hearing loss.Trying to remove cerumen from the ears can result in further impaction and  other complications to the ear canal. Earwax trapped in your ear can also bring with it fungus and bacteria that could lead to pain and infection.

Remember that hearing is our most critical sense when it comes to our ability to communicate, and even small degrees of hearing loss can have profound effects on how we interact and connect with others. It is through hearing that we are able to communicate with people, socialize with family and friends, and sense the world. The ear is  our most sensitive organ, and you do not want to damage it. It is very important to maintain a healthy hearing in all stages of our lives.

So now you are wondering what is the best way to get the wax removed from your ears? Doctors explain that the skin in the ear canal grows like our fingernails, and as it grows it simply pushes the wax out of your ear canal, and when the wax reaches the outer portion of your ear, it is then safe to remove it with a tissue.

If you regularly use cotton swabs and your hearing has deteriorated, then get your ears checked by a hearing care provider. You should also see a doctor if you experience drainage or bleeding from the ears, hearing loss, or feelings of pain or fullness in the ears.

Don’t forget to speak to your hearing care professional about the correct way to keep your ears clean for a better and healthy hearing. For more healthy hearing tips or to schedule a free assessment, contact us today!

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