It's a common routine for many of us: after a bath, get a Q tip and poke it into your ear to clean it. Sometimes, you're not even content until you see blood in the cotton swab because it means you've cleaned it well enough. But did you know that it's not advisable to swab inside the ears? It's actually a sign of danger that there's blood of your Q tip!
Cerumen (Ear Wax)
It feels so good to get it in there and swab those ear waxes away. The ear wax, which is also known as cerumen, contributes to itchiness of the ears. Many people make the mistake of thinking that this wax is dirt but it is not. A little wax is actually necessary, as it helps protect the ear canal, a sensitive part of the ear. Cerumen is a protective coating for the ear canal, since it can repel water or any other ear infections by itself.
Damages and Infections
And cotton swabs were actually designed for the use on the outside of the ears only and not for the inside. Using them inside the ear can push the wax deeper especially if you stick one too far.
- You can possibly damage the eardrum!
- Not only that, when you remove the ear wax that protects the ear canal, you're making your ear canal vulnerable to infections. This is the reason why ear infections are very common among people who swab their ears a lot.
Irresponsible swabbing of the ears can also result in:
- loss of hearing
- swelling of the ear
- loss of equilibrium
- redness and itchiness
- pain caused by water inside the ear
- ear bleeding
- ruptured eardrums
These dangers should be more than enough to make you concerned about your ear swabbing habit. Next time you get out of the shower, instead of poking your ear with a cotton swab, just use it to clean the outer surface. Make sure that you're in a secure place when you clean your ears. It's not a smart idea to swab your ears in a room where there are plenty of kids running. One false move and the cotton swab can get inside your ear and damage your eardrum.
If you feel that there is something clogging up your ear, it's not smart to get a Q tip and try to get it out, you would only push it further in there. Instead, see a doctor who would use ear drops or remove the blockage for you safely. If your ears have already been injured because of incorrect swabbing, see your doctor to find out how much damage this habit of yours had caused.