It’s usually a satisfying when you clean your ears with a q-tip and see that something came out. The feeling itself is actually pretty soothing for me at least when cleaning my ears with a q-tip. I’m trying to find the words to describe it but I just can’t, it’s really just an experience like no other. But recently, I’ve been a little more concerned about the (un)healthy habit that is ear cleaning. Why are q-tips so dangerous and warned against? We’ve all heard the old “ear drum” argument but is that all it really is? I had to find out before I cleaned them again.
According to Fox, cleaning your ears with a q-tip and going too deep in the canal can cause you to puncture your ear drum with a q-tip sized hole. This results in bleeding and massive pain. The hole could heal in a week-a few months but if not, surgery is required. In an even worse case, it can result in hearing loss. If this did happen to occur, putting water in your ear could cause a detrimental infection.
Written in the same article, it really isn’t even all that necessary to clean your ears regularly. If ear wax causes your hearing to be bad, that is when you should clean them but, naturally, the ears canals clean themselves. Having a little ear wax in your ear is totally normal. If you do still feel the need to clean your ears, use an ear syringe. (Side note, I didn’t know what an ear syringe was either so I put a picture below.) This is a safer way to clean ears and is similar to what you’d clean a babies ears with.
Ear wax isn’t even all that bad to have! There are essentially two types of ear wax, “wet and dry” as found in this article I found on Google Scholar. Too little ear wax can cause infections whereas too much can cause hearing loss, etc. So therefore, it is beneficial to have some in there, don’t try to scrape it all out with a cotton swab!
So while the “ear-gasm” may feel great, think about a painful infection or losing your hearing for life. It just isn’t worth it! Your ear wax is there for a reason!!