In today’s installment of “harmless things that aren’t so harmless after all,” we discuss why cotton buds are bad for your ears.
I know, I know. Very few things can match the pleasure of a cotton bud gently scratching an itchy ear, so how can it be bad for you, right?
The Dangers Of Cleaning Your Ears With Cotton Buds
According to research by Earex, a whopping 76% of people still use cotton buds to clean their ears. In addition, 22% of those do that up to 14 times a week.
Lastly, one in ten of those cotton bud users actually enjoy the sensation, along with the sight of the wax removed. Gross, but most of us can relate.
Unfortunately, the practice of using cotton buds can push the ear wax further into the ear canal. Over time, this compacts the wax, which can result in hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo, among other things.
The overuse of cotton buds also increases your risk of ear infections. Earwax happens to be vital to maintaining good ear health as it keeps it clean and free of germs.
Healthier Alternatives for Cleaning Your Ears
Usually, ear wax passes out of the ears on its own. If you’re concerned about wax build-up, however, swap your cotton buds for ear drops. These soften up excess wax, allowing it to flow out more freely.
You may also go for headphones instead of earphones. The latter can act as a stopper, thus preventing the wax from naturally dispelling itself.
Another alternative is sugar-free gum, and no, you shouldn’t stick it in your ears. (Duh.) Chewing it opens up the inner ear and helps to dislodge wax from the ear canal, easing the natural removal process further.
Face it. A cotton bud in your ear might feel amazing, but it’s nowhere near as heavenly as hearing properly. Let’s all keep it that way, yes?