Did you know that you shouldn’t put cotton buds inside your ears?
If you've been putting cotton buds inside you or your child's ears, then you might want to think twice about doing it after reading this article!
For a lot of Filipinos, ear cleaning is not simply a daily habit to keep their ears clean, but also a way to relax and calm down. After all, there's something about putting cotton buds inside your ears and cleaning them that's very soothing.
But did you know that you shouldn't actually be doing this?
Why shouldn't you put cotton buds inside your ears?
Dr. Shiella Lim, Ear, Nose, and Throat—Head and Neck Surgery (ENT-HNS) at Makati Medical Center and De Los Santos Medical Center shares that the usual cleaning routine that Filipinos do when it comes to their ears is actually wrong.
She says, "The diameter of the ear canal is very small, sometimes smaller than the cotton bud. When you insert a cotton bud into the ear canal, the wax that is produced is merely being pushed further into the canal. Over time, it will just accumulate and form a big chunk of ear wax, which can cause discomfort and decrease hearing."
Dr. Julius Perry Velasco, an ENT-HNS doctor at UST Hospital and MyHealth Clinics, also agrees that you shouldn't put cotton buds inside your ears – or your child's.
"You can’t use anything smaller than your elbow to clean the ear canal. It means you can’t put anything inside your ears to clean it, let alone do it yourself," he adds.
Using cotton buds can also irritate the inside of the ears, which can sometimes cause infection. Additionally, there's also a chance that you can rupture the eardrum, which can cause hearing problems. Thankfully, the eardrum can heal on its own, but it's still best to avoid damaging it in the first place.
Cotton buds can also cause earwax to become impacted, and the earwax will start to build up inside the ear.
How should you clean your child's ears?
The best way to clean your ears – or your child's ears –would be to use a moist, clean cloth, and gently wipe the outside of the ear.
You should never put anything inside the ear, even "ear spoons" since those can also irritate the ear.
The earwax actually helps protect your ears. It traps any dirt that might get inside your ear, and it also has some antibacterial properties.
In case there's a buildup of earwax, you can put a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil, or earwax softeners, leave it there for about 20-30 minutes, and flush it with warm water.
In some cases, the earwax can be so impacted that you need to visit a doctor have the earwax removed. In those cases doctors use specialized tools to manually remove the earwax.
The most important thing to know is that our ears have ways to keep clean. That's why it's best to just let our ears do their magic, and not get too crazy with cleaning.
Photo from: pixabay.com