You know cleaning ears at home using cotton buds sends thousands of kids to hospitals.
Do you still think a cotton-tip applicator is the best way to clean your or your child's ears?
You might want to think again, because according to new research published in The Journal of Pediatrics, these seemingly harmless cotton swabs are sending thousands of kids to hospital emergency departments every year.
It highlights the misconception that adults and children need to clean the ear canal in the home setting. The ear canals are usually self-cleaning. While these cotton buds may seem harmless(compared to match sticks and other pointed things), there are certainly a lot of potential risks in using them to clean the ears.
The wax is pushed deep into the ear canal instead of being removed by the cotton bud, which can cause a temporary hearing loss similar to the feeling of having an ear plug in the ear. Ear wax deep in a child's ear can be difficult and painful for a doctor to remove. It may also make diagnosing an ear infection difficult or impossible.
The key message: don't go on the soft looks of cotton buds, they ain't do any good. In most cases, leave the ear wax alone because it is beneficial for the ear.
So, what should you use to clean your ears?
Doctors recommend that visible wax on the outer part of the ear can be wiped away with a wet wash cloth. Deep wax need not be touched, as it will be pushed out by itself.
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