Several people around the world use cotton buds to clean their ears. Some do so to get rid of wax and many may even enjoy the sensation. You might believe that these soft, gentle products are perfect for this purpose, but what if I told you that they aren’t? The bitter truth is that cotton buds can be very bad for the ears and most of the items even specify that they aren’t to be used for such purpose, yet many people go ahead and do so. It might be due to the fact that the warnings don’t seem that serious, or because they can’t imagine items so delicate being harmful.
But why exactly do cotton buds pose such a threat to your ears? Can you really get such serious health problems for them? How do you actually need to clean your ears instead? Don’t worry any further as we have got the answers!
Ear Specialists Claim Cleaning Ears with Cotton Buds Can Give You Brain Infection
There was a time a 31-year old boy was admitted to the emergency room of a hospital after experiencing a bad seizure. At first glance, it would appear an old occurrence, and the man was otherwise very healthy and had no pre-existing medical condition that would lead to a seizure. Prior to his admittance to the hospital, the man had been having issues with some unusual symptoms. His left ear had been hurting for about two weeks, and a lot of discharge had been flowing out of the ear.
As the days went on, he also began to experience bad headaches, though only on the left part of his head. The migraines were so severe that they drove him to the point of vomiting many times. He was also starting to have memory troubles and beginning to forget other people’s names.
Discovering the cause of the brain infection: cotton buds
In this man’s case, the infection was necrotizing otitis externa which is a bacterial infection. The toxic chemicals caused by the infection may have led to the seizure, or it could have also been the swelling happening in the brain causing pressure that caused the attack. The medical doctors need to take a closer look at his ear, so they started a surgical exploration. And when they discovered the culprit behind the whole ordeal, it was a small portion of a cotton bud or swab that had become stuck in the ear and remained there. While he has been cleaning his ears with a cotton bud, this tip has broken off and become stuck inside his left ear without realizing it. So what later happened to the man? Well, he received the right medical attention and after ten weeks, he had recovered fully with no symptoms left, so he can look forward to the future with positive thinking.
Other reasons why you shouldn’t use cotton buds to clean your ears
- Cotton buds push the wax further in: Using cotton buds will make you think you are scooping dirt out but all what you are doing is pushing it back inside. Essentially, what you are doing is forcing the wax deeper in and shoving it up against your eardrums. It is actually bad and can result in the rupturing of the eardrum. It might even cause an impaction.
- You may hurt yourself: Cotton buds may usually be quite soft, but it doesn’t mean they can’t harm you by accident. If you are pushed while cleaning the ears or you happen to apply a lot of pressure, it might injure your eardrum. Also, the sticks of cotton buds are fine and sharp, so you may wind up accidentally scratching yourself, leaving you more liable to infections.
- You could dry out your ear: Earwax is not actually bad as it is full of antibacterial qualities that help to keep it safe from infections. When it is removed in excess, it can lead to dryness and irritation, which can make you more prone to ear infections.
- It will cause the wax to be harder to get rid of: The moment you force all of your earwax back into your ear while using a cotton bud, you are causing the wax to stick together. It implies that it is becoming compact, so it will be even more complex to get rid of the wax. This wax can even impede your hearing by blocking up the eardrum.
- It will clear itself out: Whether you believe or not, your ears are capable of self-cleaning. Whenever you move your jaw, wax is typically pushed towards the outer ear. Just eating, yawning, and even talking will get this done. You should just practice positive thinking and know that your wax will flush itself out.
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