Skip Nav
Healthy Recipes
These 5-Ingredient Protein Balls Taste Like a Reese's
Beginner Fitness Tips
These 18 Influencers Are Changing Women's Fitness
Valentine's Day
These Vegan, Paleo-Friendly Chocolate Truffles Are So Good, It Might Be Hard to Share

Do You Still Use Q-tips to Clean Your Ears?

It is now official, you shouldn't clean your ears with a Q-tip. The American Academy of Otolaryngology, aka physicians who specialize in treating issues involving the ear, nose and throat (ENT), have issued clinical guidelines about cleaning your ears. To put it simply, don't stick anything in your ear that is smaller than your elbow.

Earwax, although not so attractive, is important to the health of your ears. The wax is a self-cleaning agent that also has protective properties. However, if the wax buildup causes hearing loss or pain, you should see a doctor to have it removed. Do not attempt to fish out that wax on your own. The ENTs also stress that Q-tips should never be put in the ear canal. Other home remedies this physicians' group strongly recommend avoiding involve using Waterpiks to irrigate your own ear canal and ear candles.

I must admit that even though I have been schooled by many a doctor friend about the hazards of Q-tips, I still occasionally use them. What about you . . .

Source

Around The Web

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

Join The Conversation
Jayne2675333 Jayne2675333 3 years
\u00a0@bealotus\u00a0You are what we like to colloquially call a germaphob. It's a form of OCD, and it's not something to be proud of (you'd be best off to seek treatment). Showering twice a day is killing your skin, the damage your doing overtime can be astronomical. Not to mention how incredibly wasteful you're being. Where the hell do you get off, thinking you deserve to shower excessively just because you "can"? Go spend some time in the third world, maybe you'll actually develop a moral compass...
Jayne2675333 Jayne2675333 3 years
\u00a0@Kadiya\u00a0They specifically state that they are intended for cleaning OUTSIDE the ear. The fact that you can't pay attention and read pertinent information isn't the fault of the\u00a0Chesebrough-Pond/Unilever Company, so don't accuse them of misrepresentation.
Jayne2675333 Jayne2675333 3 years
\u00a0@JenSaysThis\u00a0Are you serious? Talk about first world problems, get over yourself. Would you have a bad life if your circumstances changed and you couldn't afford them anymore?
Jayne2675333 Jayne2675333 3 years
\u00a0@austerity\u00a0YOU DON'T!!!!!! The wax is supposed to coat the ear, you expose yourself to bacterial and fungal infections when you remove it. Would you rather have fungus growing in your ears?!?
Jayne2675333 Jayne2675333 3 years
Every single one of you who refuses to even consider this advice is an idiot. Sorry if that's insulting, but it's definitely true. Do even a tiny bit of research and you'll see how many doctors are freaking out about this subject. You really can do yourself serious harm. Often\u00a0unexpectedly, so for those of you who say that you're careful, think again. You can be as careful as you like, doesn't change the fact that you're blindly rooting around inside one of your bodies most sensitive\u00a0orifices. Not to mention the fact that the wax serves a purpose, and you're exposing your ear to injury and bacterial or fungal infection by removing it. So congrats kids, your arrogance and silly obsessive behavior will be your downfall :P\u00a0
Jayne2675333 Jayne2675333 3 years
\u00a0@Spectra\u00a0Like I said to someone else, chronic Q-tip use creates dryness in the sensitive ear canal.\u00a0Dry skin\u00a0itches. People with itchy ears use Q-tips (and other found objects) to scratch them. The scratching causes itching. Do you see the cycle here? Eventually, the damaged skin will break down and crack, allowing opportunistic bacteria or yucky fungus to invade. Congratulations. You have caused otitis externa, also known as\u00a0Swimmer\u2019s Ear.
Jayne2675333 Jayne2675333 3 years
\u00a0@Jewels2080\u00a0Chronic Q-tip use creates dryness in the sensitive ear canal.\u00a0Dry skin\u00a0itches. People with itchy ears use Q-tips (and other found objects) to scratch them. The scratching causes itching. Do you see the cycle here? Eventually, the damaged skin will break down and crack, allowing opportunistic bacteria or yucky fungus to invade. Congratulations. You have caused otitis externa, also known as\u00a0Swimmer\u2019s Ear.
Jayne2675333 Jayne2675333 3 years
\u00a0@sparklestar\u00a0"Q-tips are not unlike the plungers used to load cannon. They can pack softer wax deeply in the ear canal against the eardrum. By creating a formidable plug and preventing the eardrum from moving normally, it is quite easy to cause some significant hearing loss. Water can also be trapped behind these self-created wax dams and entertain you by constant sloshing around. When this happens, the ear will need to be lavaged \u2014 washed out by a gentle stream of warm water. Or, you will need to see your medical provider, someone that CAN look inside your ear and remove the impaction professionally." You're one of the few with a chronic wax issue, you should see a medical professional regularly to deal with. Or you can do it yourself because you won't listen to me, and end up injured or deaf. Whatever floats your boat.
Jayne2675333 Jayne2675333 3 years
"Human beings have been digging around in their ears since the Dawn of Time. I bet even\u00a0selective-hearing\u00a0Adam was cleaning out his ears during God\u2019s \u201cDon\u2019t eat the apples\u201d lecture. Museums have examples of ivory and gold ear spoons that date back thousands of years. When I was visiting Japan a few decades ago, a cute little Japanese girl handed me a sample of a modern, disposable ear spoon. That\u2019s what the world needs: another product that can cause potential harm. We can blame some of this stuff on our parents and our parent\u2019s parents and so on. They were the ones that started the rumor that earwax was bad stuff that had to be removed, like toe jam or a booger hanging out of your nose. They could not have been more wrong. While excess, hard, or obstructive earwax can be problematic, most\u00a0earwax\u00a0(cerumen) is infinitely more beneficial. It is a normal, protective coating for the sensitive skin of the ear canal. A canal coated with ear wax will repel water and help prevent external ear infections. When you dig it out like some demented gold miner, you leave your ear very vulnerable. Since we do not have the ability to look inside our own ears at the present time (you can buy a video otoscope for under a thousand dollars if you want), most Q-tip users blindly probe around looking for yellow, often getting red instead. Many will look at their wax-stained swab with pride and admiration of a job well done. Eventually, they will go too far and injure or\u00a0rupture their eardrums. If it wasn\u2019t for pain and blood, I suspect that some people would excavate around until they pulled out little bones or brain tissue. Perhaps, many have already done that. Q-tips are not unlike the plungers used to load cannon. They can pack softer wax deeply in the ear canal against the eardrum. By creating a formidable plug and preventing the eardrum from moving normally, it is quite easy to cause some significant hearing loss. Water can also be trapped behind these self-created wax dams and entertain you by constant sloshing around. When this happens, the ear will need to be lavaged \u2014 washed out by a gentle stream of warm water. Or, you will need to see your medical provider, someone that CAN look inside your ear and remove the impaction professionally. Chronic Q-tip use creates dryness in the sensitive ear canal.\u00a0Dry skin\u00a0itches. People with itchy ears use Q-tips (and other found objects) to scratch them. The scratching causes itching. Do you see the cycle here? Eventually, the damaged skin will break down and crack, allowing opportunistic bacteria or yucky fungus to invade. Congratulations. You have caused otitis externa, also known as\u00a0Swimmer\u2019s Ear. Speaking of swimmers, chronic water exposure can wash out all of the protective wax, too, causing the water to remain in the ear canal. In order to remove the water, people will use Q-tips, or put drops of drying alcohol in the ear canal, often making the matters worse. I recently tested a new product called DryEar, a portable/rechargeable ear dryer. I loved it. It blows a gentle stream of warm air into the ear canal to dry out that trapped water. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Q-tips; a fine, well-made product. They have hundreds of clever uses. As long as you don\u2019t put them INSIDE your ears, they are a safe product. In the hands of idiots, they are true Weapons of Ear Destruction." - Web M.D. (not my favorite source, but this guy's dead on).
almostloli almostloli 6 years
i just have to clean them everyday!
goldilocks0078 goldilocks0078 6 years
I do...I get wax build up and I can't stand it!
Valou1 Valou1 6 years
Wow....I had no idea that Q-tips were that dangerous....
amybdk amybdk 6 years
I use a mimikaki - a Japanese ear pick. Still probably pretty bad, but... meh...
AbigailSwPeaLily AbigailSwPeaLily 7 years
I am fond of scraping out the gunk. More comfortable to do so.
shepptacular shepptacular 7 years
one time I made the mistake of trying to use a Qtip to get water out of my ear. What I ended up doing was creating a sealant between the water and the wax in my ear which resulted in me having to go to a doctor to have them painfully flush everything out of my canal...embarrassing and tres gross
popcorn19 popcorn19 7 years
Isn't it not good for your ears if you leave water in there?? And how else should you get it out?
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
i do use Q-tips and i don't really see what the issue is seeing as how i don't put the swab in that far. i don't know - i saw something on Taxi TV about it and how you shouldn't clean all the wax out, but for years i've done it and i haven't hurt myself...
sparklestar sparklestar 7 years
My boyfriend uses... get this... a bent round paperclip!! When I found out I was so freaked out. I tried it and gave myself a serious ear infection. ;p I was deaf for like a month!What else am I supposed to use?! My fingers? I had glue ear and gromits as a child so if I don't clean the excess wax I'll be deaf. :)
sparklestar sparklestar 7 years
My boyfriend uses... get this... a bent round paperclip!! When I found out I was so freaked out. I tried it and gave myself a serious ear infection. ;p I was deaf for like a month! What else am I supposed to use?! My fingers? I had glue ear and gromits as a child so if I don't clean the excess wax I'll be deaf. :)
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 7 years
I use Q-tips every other day however for some reason when allergies kick in I need to use it everyday. I hate the feeling of wax in my ears and while they say not to use q-tips, I still will.
linds1019 linds1019 7 years
I don't care what anyone says, I'm still using q-tips to clean my ears!
Latest Fitness
X