About the only thing doctors do agree on putting anything inside your ear is a bad idea. Your ears usually do a good job cleaning themselves and don’t need any extra care. The only reason you should clean them is to soften or remove earwax from the outside of your ear canals. And if you’re going to do that, you’ll need to know how to do it carefully.
It even has antibacterial properties, which means your ears are self-cleaning. Earwax is like a filter for your ears, keeping out harmful things like dirt and dust, and trapping them so they don’t go deep inside.
My Medical Mantra spoke to ENT specialist and sought their advice regarding the correct way in which one should clean their ears.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Neelam Sathe, Head of the Department of ENT, from KEM hospital, said, “The correct way to clean your ears is by not inserting any ear buds or fingers inside the ear. Our ears clean themselves. If your earwax has hardened then consult a doctor and get it cleaned. Cotton ear buds and fingers do not help in extracting the earwax outside the ears; it actually clogs the ear even more as it gets stuck there. Using ear buds can cause ear injuries or cause swelling inside the ear. Also, it can increase the risk of a fungal infection.”
The reason we feel tempted to clean our ears is because of that substance called cerumen, commonly called earwax. It’s normal for your body to produce it, and it actually helps protect and lubricate your ears. If you didn’t have earwax, your ears would probably be itchy and dry.
While Dr Sanjay Helale, head of ENT department at Kohinoor Hospital, Kurla, stated, “Please do not use ear buds to clean your ears. Using cotton ear buds continuously can cause an infection or increase earache. Earwax which has accumulated in the ear clears out by itself within three days. If you are still facing ear problems, then visit an ear specialist and use ear drops according to the doctor’s advice.”
Earwax isn’t formed in the deep part of your ear canal; it’s made in the outer section.
So, the only reason you’d have an earwax blockage up against your eardrum, is because you tried to clean your ears with a cotton swab, or something like it, and pushed the wax in deeper.
Dr Varsha Gattani Indani, who is attached to the ENT department ay Nagpur Medical College, explained, “It is normal for the earwax to come out on its own. But still, people insert cotton ear buds or pens into their ears to take out earwax; you must refrain from doing this. If your ears are itching from the inside, then use wax softener drops. And then use the ear buds to remove the excess earwax. When you use foreign objects to clean your ears, you put your eardrums at the risk of injury, these injuries can also cause bleeding inside the ears.”