How To Clean Ears? Are Earbuds Dangerous?

Bhubaneswar: Do you like cleaning your ears with cotton swabs or earbuds? If yes, read on why you should chuck the habit.

The ear has wax or cerumen that traps dust and germs and protects the ear. It has lubricating and antibacterial properties according to The wax is pushed out as flakes in due course.

Is Ear Cleaning Required?

Ears are self-cleaning and most people don’t ever need to clean them, according to the 100-year-old health facility. Like most experts, it also warns against using earbuds, swabs or bobby pins that push the wax further into the canal and can cause severe ear pain or hearing loss.

Inserting any object, even a finger is risky, warns experts.

Dr Naveen Gupta, ENT specialist at Zulekha Hospital, Dubai told the Khaleej Times: “Wax is a normal thing to form in the ear as it is a mixture of the ear skin secretions, dead cells of the skin and trapped foreign bodies. It lubricates the ear skin and prevents dryness and infections. As it forms, it clears out in the particle form from the ear canal on its own. In some people, it forms more, or its movement is not fast enough leading to accumulation in the ear canal. These people need to consult an ENT specialist for its removal.”

Dr Wong at the Cedars Sinai Hospital (USA) also explains: “You usually don’t need to ever clean wax out of your ears because there’s a natural cleaning system in the ear canal that sweeps earwax out like a conveyor belt. Even if there is a lot of wax, you can have up to 90% of your ear canal blocked and still be able to hear clearly since you only need a small pinhole for sound to travel through”.

If cleaning is required, it is recommended to visit an ENT surgeon who uses drops to soften the wax and clean by suction or specialised tools.


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