He I Study of Hearing Care Habitsproduced by UMusicoffers a worrying fact: 47% of Spaniards use swabs to clean the ear. This practice poses a high risk to hearing health, as it can cause perforation in the eardrum until hemorrhagesgoing by vertigo and hearing loss. In the following post we give you more details of the study and the best alternatives to using cotton swabs.
When ENT doctors insist on the risk involved in using cotton swabs to clean the ears, their argument is broad: the use of these sticks with the ends covered in cotton can produce a eardrum injurya perforation and even a injury to the ossicular chain of the middle ear. Likewise, it can also cause lesions on the skin of the ear canal, like small wounds. To this list of consequences we must add possible derived complications, such as bleeding, pain, tinnitus, Vertigo and Hearing loss. Additionally, the cotton present at the ends of the swab can break off and become trapped inside. When this happens, the water wets it and may end up producing a outer ear infection.
According to the I Study of Hearing Care Habits, Women and young people use cotton swabs the most to clean their ears.. The reason for use is, almost always, to remove ear wax. However, the doctor Juan Royocommunity specialist Living the Soundnotes that “Earwax is a natural substance and in normal quantities it helps prevent harmful agents from entering the inside of the ear. This has a self-cleaning system that expels the wax to the outside, so, unless there is an excess, it is not necessary to eliminate it.”
Alternatives to cotton swabs
Dr. Royo remembers that there are different methods to act when excess wax is recorded. To begin with, he points out, “use drops specifically designed to help expel earwax naturally, taking special care for people with sensitive skin. We can also clean the ears with a soft damp cloth delicately, as we would do to clean other areas of the body”. However, if our ears feel clogged, changes in earwax color or other discomfort, the Living Sound specialist recommends going to the otorhinolaryngologist.
Environmental impact of the use of cotton swabs
To the list of the aforementioned contraindications for hearing health that the use of cotton swabs implies, we must add another problem derivedand it is the impact that these products, along with other single-use personal hygiene products, cause in the environment.