By Dr Vijay Verma on Lybrate.
Most of us reach for a cotton bud involuntarily whenever we feel there’s an excessive earwax build-up. Truth be told, earwax is good. It helps in preventing infection as it has antimicrobial effect. However clearing out earwax(or even water that’s entered your ear) with a cotton bud is not exactly such a good idea.
In fact, you always need a bit of wax in your ear as it helps in waterproofing the ear canal, preventing water from going in and getting stuck in the ear when you wash your face, take a shower, etc. If you clean your ear too often with a cotton bud, then you’re stripping away the protective layer of wax, making your ear more prone to damage.
Other than that, here are 5 other undesirable things that could happen to you if use cotton buds-
1. It may injure the external wall of your ear
2. It may give rise to any type of ear infection
3. It may push the wax you’re trying to get out even further back into your ear, especially in front of the ear drum resulting in ear blockage
4. In worst case scenario, it can lead to hearing loss
5. It may even cause injury to your eardrum, which can in turn lead to hearing loss and imbalanced hearing
So what is the best way to clean your ears?
Depending on the type of wax, there are a few simple methods you can employ to clean your ears.
Soft Wax: If the wax is relatively soft, you can drape a tissue over your finger and clean your ears with that finger, making sure that you don’t insert your finger too far inside.
Hard Wax: For the removal of hard wax, you must always take professional help.