When it comes to ear hygiene, you could be doing more harm than good with your current cleaning regimen. The ear is an extremely sensitive and delicate area and as such, you should take precautions and do your research before attempting to clean them yourself. If great care is not taken when cleaning your ears, it could result in impaired hearing, infection, and/or painful long term damage.
What makes this troubling is that so many people are still applying old concepts to their ear-cleaning practices and the results are alarming. The Telegraph reports that every year, about 7,000 people in England alone end up in the hospital with injuries sustained by cotton swabs — more than are injured by razor blades.
Cotton swabs are not safe to clean your ears with.
Many people are unaware that doctors and health care professionals have been trying to stop people from cleaning their ears with cotton swabs for years.
The reality is that you should not stick anything in your ear canals.
There is a very real danger of damaging your ear drum. More commonly, people will simply push excess wax deep into the ear canal, leading to blockages and impaired hearing.
Earwax isn't inherently dirty.
It is important to recognize that earwax, or cerumen, is produced naturally by glands in your ears and it is healthy to have a normal amount of wax present in the ear. With its antibacterial properties, the wax serves as part of your body's defense system, cleaning and lubricating the canals of your ears.
Before you know how to clean your ears, it's important to know when to clean your ears.
For the most part, ears clean themselves by cycling wax and dirt out towards the ear openings. Some people may never need to clean their ears - genetics will largely determine this. In some people, wax will build up though. It can become unsightly and uncomfortable and then it becomes important to clean your ears but safety must be considered. So if you can't use a cotton swab, then what?
(If you're concerned with the volume of wax or you ever feel pain or an ache in your ear, you should seek a doctor immediately).