Science

Earwax Removal: Stop Using Q-Tips!

By Christie Abagon , Jan 04, 2017 08:32 PM EST
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Many people think that earwax equates to uncleanliness and try to clean their ears using Q-tips, or sometimes, paper clips, or other small things.  Experts have updated the guidelines for treating earwax, and the rule is simple: "don't put anything smaller than your elbow into your ear."

Earwax Is A Normal Body Substance That Cleans, Protects, And Oils Ears

The updated guidlines for earwax removal aims to give clinicians a variety of tools in treating and communicating with patients.  According to Fox News, the guideline wrote what experts have long implied: earwax or cerumen is the body's normal substance to clean, protect and oil ears. 

"The effort to eliminate earwax is only creating further issues because the earwax is just getting pushed down and impacted further into the ear canal," Dr. Seth R. Schwartz, of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAFP).  If you really want to clean your ears, wiping them with a wash cloth will suffice.

Jaw Motion And Growing Skin In The Ear Canal Help Move Earwax To The Ear Opening

You don't need to worry about earwax getting farther into your ear, because small matters like dirt and dust keeps them from doing so.  Also, jaw motion, like chewing, and growing  skin in the ear canal help to move old earwax from inside the ears to the ear opening where it then flakes off or gets washed off when taking a bath, Eureka Alert reported. 

Sometimes, the ear's natural self-cleaning process may not work very well which can lead to earwax buildup, causing blockage of the air canal or impacted cerumen.   When this happens, experts say to visit a medical professional so that safely solutions for earwax removal can be identified.   Also, changes in your ear do not always mean it's caused by earwax.  Hearing issues may be cause by virus too, so it's safe to just visit a doctor so that you can be properly diagnosed.

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