Stay away from the Q-tips.
Earwax … No matter how gross it sounds, some people find it pretty satisfying. It`s like squeezing pimples. Even watching someone else doing it brings you satisfaction.
However, doctors recommend that most of us shouldn`t clean it because as everything else in our body, earwax is excreted for a reason.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO) has edited an official earwax guideline a couple of months ago.
Accordingly, the doctors claim that: “Earwax that does not cause symptoms or block the ear canal should be left alone.”
So, no more ear candling. No more cleaning with syringes of water. And what the most important is – no more Q-tips.
In an interview for INSIDER, which was published in August this year, Dr. Mark Vaughan, a specialist in earwax removal, claims that the Q-tips are way too big and blunt to be able to successfully clean out the earwax. Instead, “All you can do is push [wax] in.”- he stated.
After all, earwax plays a crucial role in preventing the dust and dirt from entering deeper into the ear, as explained in the guideline we mentioned before.
The ear has a mechanism of self-cleaning: by moving the jaw while speaking or eating and with the growth of new skin. All the surplus materials that are not needed anymore are pushed away and fell out during a shower or eventually peel off.
With all that being said, there is absolutely no need of sticking Q-tips or anything else inside. It can be perfectly cleaned by its own natural process.
So, if everything works properly, there is no good reason for you to sabotage this natural process. With mild exceptions, of course.
The statistics published by AAO show that only one-third of older people, 5% of adults and 10% of children have the real need to clean earwax. In these cases, the process of self-cleaning fails, leaving the ear with too much earwax, which can block the ear canal entirely.
The guideline advises to visit a doctor if any of these symptoms are common for you: itching, ringing or a feeling of ear fullness, hearing damage, ear discharge or reek, ear pain etc. Even coughing can be a reason enough to visit an otologist.
When needed, medical professionals will remove your earwax in a healthy and effective way.
Now you`ve learned you never needed those cotton balls. Cut them off once and for all, and live healthier.