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Are Q-Tips Safe For Your Ears?

Q-Tips or cotton swabs can cause injury to your eardrum and can cause ear infections. There are safer ways to get ear wax out of your ears that are recommended by doctors.

I’m sure that your parents have told you while you were growing up never to stick things in your ears. Are Q-Tips safe to put in your ears? Cotton swabs were made for cleaning the ear wax out of your ears.  Doctors agree that you should never put Q-Tips or any kind of cotton swab in your ears even to clean them out. Have you ever noticed that there aren’t commercials promoting Q-Tips or cotton swabs?

The package of the Q-Tips states that you shouldn’t put the Q-Tips into your ear canal because it could cause injury. This warning is clearly written on the back of the package. Studies show that you can rupture a membrane if you push the Q-Tip into your ear too far. It also shows that even though there is ear wax on your Q-Tip when you pull it out, you are still pushing the wax further into your ear canal. You can pierce the eardrum by putting the cotton swab too far into your ear canal. Studies also show that you can get an ear infection by putting a Q-Tip into your ear canal or the outer area of your eardrum too far and piercing or breaking the eardrum.

What is the safe way of cleaning your ears out?

First of all, before getting into the safe details of getting ear wax out of your ears, it is important to understand how helpful wax is for your ears.  According to studies, a certain amount of ear wax is important for your ears.  Ear wax acts as a lubricant to the outer area of your ear canal which helps keep your ears from itching.   Ear wax also protects you from getting ear infections because of the antibacterial properties that wax has in it.

Doctors recommend several different ways of safely cleaning out the ear wax out of your ear.   Doctors say that you don’t need to do anything to clean your ears out. They also say that the wax will come out on its own because the hairs in your ears push the ear wax out.   Some doctors recommend to use a warm washcloth and carefully with one finger in the washcloth clean out the outer area of your ears.   Another safe way that doctors recommend is to use a bulb syringe. If you are using a bulb syringe to get the earwax our of your ears, it is recommended to get instructions on how to use a bulb syringe correctly. This is an inexpensive and safe way to get wax out of your ears if properly trained on how to use the bulb syringe. You can also safely get wax out of your ears by going to your doctor’s office and have him or her irrigate your ears to get the wax build up out of your ear canal.

Resources: http://yourhealthradio.org/2011/05/17/put-down-the-q-tip-pick-up-the-syringe/

http://www.pediatricsafety.net/2010/01/cleaning-your-kids-ears-are-q-tips-safe/

Image: http://mrg.bz/iyfjSZ

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Comments (24)
Ranked #1 in Wellness

WEll stated with wisdom and research.

I just learned about this. The fact is that most of us rarely read instructions before using something out of the package.

Great topic :D Thx!

Excellent information on how to properly clean out ears.

I've spent a ton of money going to my ENT doctor...mostly for my ears! This is a great article and well done. Thanks for all this great information concerning the question of whether or not quips are sefe for your ears. By the way, one ENT told me never to put anything smaller than my elbow in my ear!!!! I'm buzzing this up. Super job!

Ranked #2 in Wellness

Great safety thoughtful article.

Ranked #1 in Wellness

Returning to award you with a well deserved vote up.

Some people have ear problems that build up excess ear wax (it can be hereditary) and the wax can become so thick that it clogs the ear causing hearing loss. Should you clean this out? No, it will only impact it more. I have 2 family members with this condition, so I know much about it. We do not use q-tips or anything to clean out the ear. Instead the doctor has a small plastic pick-type tool that he uses to remove the ear wax. I am amazed sometimes how much is removed from the ear canal, but our doctor insist on us letting him not q-tips do the job. Great article!

Nice to know Caryn. This article deserves my vote. I will come back later. Thanks.

Very good article on Q-Tips. Voted up

Very good article on Q-Tips. Voted up

Good and useful tips. Voted.

Excellent and informative topic.thanks

Many people can make use of this great article. I wear a hearing aid and my expert person told me never, ever use Q-tips in ears.(Gave you a vote up)

interesting facts, though I cant really stop using Qtips. Its one those things you know you shouldn't do, but still does.lol

I always thought Qtips were made to clean your ears! You learn something new everyday! Vote up

Ranked #5 in Wellness

Good info about Q-tips Caryn, FB liked.

I'd just recently been told this by my doctor... oops lol.

Useful article.. Thanks for sharing

Very useful article

They are great for just about anything else though!

Just discovered that when I leave a comment my option to vote vanishes - had intended to give you one, but the last one has just disappeared.

Very useful and informative share. I used Q-tips to clean out my ears cause I thought it was the proper way to do it. I recently learned that Q-tips are not designed to put into the ear canal. I agree that the best method is to use a warm wash cloth, it's safer. "Ear wax acts as a lubricant to the outer area of your ear canal which helps keep your ears from itching". Thanks for the reminder. Voted

Ranked #83 in Wellness

Interesting topic. I think that using a Q-tip is fine for getingt the access wax out. We really don't need to stick it in too far.

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