If you’ve ever had an itch in your ear or water sloshing around, or you could just tell your ears were full of wax, sticking that little, white cotton swab in and gently rubbing it in a circular motion probably felt like heaven. But, according to doctors, regardless of how much you love using them, you should never use cotton swabs to clean your ears. Grrrrr.

Updated clinical guidelines recently published in the journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery continue to say they aren’t appropriate for earwax removal. In fact, according to doctors, nothing smaller than your elbow should ever go in your ear.
But why not?
“Cotton swabs, hair pins, house keys, and toothpicks — the many smaller-than-our-elbow-objects we love to put in our ears — can cause cuts in our ear canals, perforate our eardrums and dislocate our hearing bones. And any of these things could lead to hearing loss, dizziness, ringing or other symptoms of ear injury.”
Our bodies should be able to clean themselves; we produce earwax to keep our ears lubricated and clean. That wax protects us from dirt, dust, or anything else that might enter our ears because it gets stuck to the wax, thereby keeping things from moving farther into our ear canal. Get this, apparently our usual “jaw motions from talking and chewing, along with skin growth within the canal,” normally helps move older earwax from the inside to the outside the ear, where we wash it off during a bath or shower. Cool and gross.

But it’s not just the potential for cuts but also that people with impacted ear wax run the risk of pushing the earwax deeper into the ear canal and harming their eardrum. If that happens to you, it’s best to see a doctor. And the guidelines warn about ear candles, too.
From the article:
“It’s not a bad thing to have wax in your ears. Everybody does and should. It’s more of an issue when it becomes too much,” Schwartz said. The guideline definition of “too much” is an operational one: If you have symptoms — such as pain, drainage, bleeding or hearing loss — then you have a problem.”

I’m all for taking care of my health and I don’t hate guidelines, but this one might be kind of difficult for me to follow! What do you think, will you still be using them and just being really careful?

Source: CNN