If you’ve been reading the news lately, you’ve probably come across an article or two that warm you not to use cotton swabs to clean your ears. And those articles are correct in many ways! In fact, using cotton swabs to clean out your ears can result in both short and long term damage. In some cases, the damage caused by cotton swabs can even be irreversible.
But before we go into why you should stop cleaning out your ears with cotton swabs, it is important to understand why ear wax is good and healthy for you.
First of all, ear wax is actually a natural way that your body protects your ear canal. Without ear wax, your ears and ear canal are subject to dust and dirt that can damage the ear drum. Additionally, ear wax also acts as your ear’s natural antibacterial.
You might be thinking to yourself, “well yeah, that is awesome and great to know! But doesn’t your ear wax need to be cleaned out or anything?”
Luckily, you actually take care of that yourself! And you probably don’t even know it is happening. Whenever you move your jaw – whether it be to eat food, yawn, or laughing – the old earwax that has been building up moves out to make room for new earwax to form. So in a way, it is like a self-regulating and cleaning system that does not require any extra effort on your part.
Now, onto cotton swabs.
Whenever you clean your ears with them, you are pushing older ear wax deeper into your ears, which means that it can become virtually impossible to clear out the old ear wax, unless you get it removed by a professional. When the ear wax gets trapped, it can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus to build up, which leads to a slew of different viruses, pain, and other diseases that can be both troublesome and expensive to get rid of.
So in the end, cleaning your your ears with cotton swabs is always advised against. You should let your body do its natural thing instead, and avoid any serious issues in the future.