You don’t need to protest to us – we know the temptation to stick a cotton bud in your ear, only too well!
It’s so important that you resist, however, because you could be doing way more harm than good.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery has released new guidelines on how to manage earwax, and cotton buds (or Q-tips) are apparently NOT the way to go.
Apparently, our bodies are intricately wired to naturally break down earwax, via chewing and the growth of new cells along the ear canal.
While sticking a cotton bud in your ear can scratch the canal and potentially damage your eardrum, it can also shove that wax further back into your ear and interrupt the natural breakdown process.
The organisation’s chair, Seth Schwartz, explained: “Patients often think that they are preventing earwax from building up by cleaning out their ears with cotton swabs, paper clips, ear candles, or any number of unimaginable things that people put in their ears.”
“The problem is that this effort to eliminate earwax is only creating further issues, because the earwax is just getting pushed down and impacted further into the ear canal,” he added.
So, if you experience a particularly nasty build-up, what should you do? Resist the temptation to reach for the cotton buds, and go and see your doctor.