Here's why you shouldn't use cotton buds to clean your ears

Judith QuinnJan 05, 2017

Dr. Seth Schwartz, who chairs the guideline update panel for the academy, added, "We really have come to appreciate that clinicians are not the only users of (the guidelines), that patients are really interested in their own care and people are really taking ownership of their own care". The result: a buildup of wax that can partly or fully block the ear canal.

Trying to remove your earwax can lead to ear damage, doctors warn.

The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation has published new guidelines on how to clean your earwax - which is pretty much don't. Because of over-cleaning of the ear, the ear wax becomes impacted. Symptoms from impacted earwax include ear pain, itching, feeling of fullness in the ear, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), hearing loss, discharge coming from the ear, odor coming from the ear, cough, and/or change in hearing aid function, the report says. This normal process of making wax and pushing the old wax out is continual.

If you have any kind of ear infection and you need medical treatment for cerumen impaction, first ask your doctor for home remedies but first, you need to ensure whether it would be safe for your ear or not.

But medical experts said the ear cleanses itself naturally and people should refrain from trying to tackle a perceived build-up in wax. Earwax is a natural substance that keeps ears healthy. But the guilt-ridden pleasure is always followed by a nagging mother whisper: "don't put anything smaller than your elbow into your ear!"

There's no evidence that using ear candles, a process that relies on heat to remove buildup, actually works at clearing impaction, and this can cause serious damage to the ear canal and eardrum, the guidelines also emphasize.

Earwax, also known as cerumen, is essentially the snot that serves to grease up the inside of your ears and trap any invading dirt particles.

Experts from the American Academy of Otolaryngology said cleaning ears too frequently can cause major problems. As new skin grows in the ear canal, it pushes old earwax from the inside of the ears closer to the opening where it naturally flakes off or washes away during bathing. All of these things can cause hearing loss, dizziness or other symptoms of ear injury. Such impaction occurs in an estimated one in 10 children, one in 20 adults, and more than one-third of geriatric and developmentally delayed individuals, according to the organization.

But sadly, the science is in, and the resounding conclusion is that we should treat our ear wax by. leaving it alone. In those cases, it's best to see a doctor.

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