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Why is it bad to insert cotton swabs in your ears?

I've always cleaned my ears with swabs, but my girlfriend told me not to. Of course, she couldn't explain why not.

5234 day(s) ago

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How to clean our ears has been the cause of much controversy and debate. You are correct in your assumption that, today, doctors do not recommend cleaning the ear canal with a cotton swab. Cotton swabs are still important in cleaning the outer ear, but should not be used for cleaning the inner ear because they are too wide and can push earwax further down the canal where it is more difficult to clean. Furthermore, a cotton swab, if used carelessly, can damage the eardrum if inserted too far. The outer ear can be cleaned with cotton swabs by inserting them into the folds of the ears and sweeping them across the skin, but doctors recommend using a specialized ear-cleaning kit for cleaning inside the ear canal.

Most kits are composed of a bulbed syringe or dropper and a liquid ear cleansing solution. To use the kit, you must lie on your side with one ear up. A few drops of the cleansing solution are dripped into the ear canal from the dropper. Lie still for a few minutes to allow the cleanser to work. After 3 or 4 minutes, sit up and towel off any excess cleanser. Repeat the process for the other ear. Some kits provide a separate syringe for water. If it is stated in the instructions, rinse the ears with the water and towel dry. The ear canals should not be cleaned more than once per week. Some ear wax is needed as a natural protection of the sensitive inner ear. Excessive cleaning can cause irritation and could possibly lead to infection.

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