Many people think earwax is a sign of uncleanliness. It’s not true!!!
So to remove the excess wax and debris from the ear canal, people use cotton swabs (Q-Tips) every day. People think it is harmless, but they can be dangerous when they are used to clean ears especially for young children.

According to Journal of Pediatrics, from 1990 to 2010 over 260,000 children under the age of 18 were treated for ear injuries which was caused due to cotton swabs and as per the Reuters health over 66% of people who were been treated in the U.S for traumatic tympanic membrane perforations had hurt themselves by using certain tools in their ears out of which half of the cases involved cotton swabs.

There are many things that people use to clean their ears. Out of which some are

  • Cotton swabs (Q-Tips)
  • Hairpins
  • Pens and pencils
  • Straws
  • Paper clips
  • Toothpick
  • Car keys


Using all these in the ear increases the risk that may cut the ear canal, it can also make a hole in the eardrum, or dislocate delicate hearing bones. Cleaning ear excessively may also irritate the ear canal, which leads to infection and can cause even more wax or cerumen. This Earwax impaction blocks the ear canal and can lead to pain, itching, feeling of fullness, ringing, tinnitus, discharge from the ear, or an unpleasant odor from the ear. Doctors warn not to use the cotton swabs as it pushes the wax deeper inside and can puncture the eardrums which may lead to a permanent hearing loss.

How does earwax help our ears

Earwax is a yellowish wax that is produced by the sebaceous gland in the ear canal inside the ear. Earwax helps to lubricate the ears. It cleanses and protects the lining of the ear by repelling water. The earwax protects the ear from insects, dust, fungi, and bacteria which can harm the eardrum. Without earwax, the ear canal becomes dry, waterlogged, and infected.

Do we have to clean our ears?

The answer is Yes and No.

As per the medical experts, the outer ear or pinna needs to be cleaned properly with a little soap, water or wet cloth. Most of the time while taking a shower or washing hair, water enters the ear canal. The wax in the ear canal gets accumulated and falls off when you are asleep. The normal movements of the jaws from talking, eating, or yawning also helps in pushing the earwax to the outer ear. Audiologists and hearing instrument specialists always recommend not to use cotton swabs or any other tool to clean your ears. Excessive accumulation of earwax, especially when it is impacted, can lead to a blocked ear.

When you face any problems with your ears it is always recommended to consult a doctor or get immediate answers from an ENT specialist on nULTA app.