One of the five sense organs in the human body, the ear serves a critical role in hearing and balance. In an effort to care for their ears, some people occasionally turn to cleaning their earwax, a crucial component that is very beneficial to the ears since it can keep them from becoming too dry, trap dirt, and stop bacteria from penetrating further into the ear.
Earwax is merely one of the numerous parts of the ears that have the ability to clean itself; the ears are self-cleaning in and of themselves. Earwax performs the functions listed above in addition to pushing itself outside the body over time, therefore it is frequently unnecessary to clean them on one’s own. This isn’t the case, though, with many people who frequently clean their ears with cotton buds or swabs.
For these individuals, the goal is to remove earwax from the external ear canal. However, Healthline advises against putting a cotton bud or cotton swab inside the ear due to the numerous risks involved with doing so, even though doing so is safe to do on the outside of the ear. This article will focus on some of the potential issues or complications that using cotton buds may result in.
The following is a look at some potential issues that could occur when using cotton buds to clean your ears:
1. An earwax obstruction
In an effort to remove earwax, using a cotton bud can be highly counterproductive because it may push the wax deeper into the ear, which prevents it from naturally cleaning. This can cause an accumulation of earwax inside your ear, and an accumulation of earwax has the potential to cause harm and unpleasant sensations including discomfort and a fullness in the ear.
According to Healthline, sticking a cotton bud too deep into your ear might potentially harm the middle ear’s structures and cause a burst eardrum. According to numerous studies, using cotton buds to remove earwax frequently causes ear injuries, particularly in children. As a result, you should refrain from using this method.
Earwax serves a variety of vital functions, one of which is to contain and slow the growth of bacteria that have found their way into your ear canal. So, when you clean your ears with a cotton bud, you could potentially cause an ear infection by pushing earwax and the bacteria it carries further into your ear while simultaneously eliminating what might have functioned as a barrier to the growth of bacteria.
3. An object in the ear
Sometimes, a piece of the cotton bud’s tip may come off inside the ear. When this occurs, it can result in a variety of issues, such as sensations of annoyance, fullness, or pain, and in extreme situations, it may result in hearing loss. Cotton buds are one of the most typical foreign objects in adults’ ears, according to research, which have revealed that the majority of ear issues are caused by foreign bodies in the ear.
How to react if you experience pain
It is advised to use an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, in the short term if you have already used a cotton bud and are still experiencing pain. However, it is advised that you visit your doctor if the pain persists after three days of using the medications.
According to Healthline, you should go to the hospital right away if you use a cotton bud and have a sudden, acute pain that is accompanied by other symptoms like ringing in your ears or muted hearing since you may have an ear injury.