The need to clear our sometimes itchy ears packed with wax often leads to the use of cotton buds. Inadvertently, doing so damages the eardrum and could cause hearing problem, a report says. When we put Q-tips in our ears, the bud pushes the wax down the ear canal towards the eardrum and impacts it. If this build-up of earwax presses up against the skin of the eardrum, it can mean it doesn’t vibrate as well and therefore cause hearing problems.
There shouldn’t be any need for them as our ears are actually “self-cleaning”, according to Oxford University Hospitals. A patient guide says: “The skin in your ears acts like a conveyor belt. It travels along your ear canal from your ear drum bringing any debris with it.
“If you use cotton buds or anything else to clean your ears, you can disrupt the ears’ natural cleaning system.
“Often the only thing this achieves is to push wax further down the ear canal, making you feel deaf temporarily and causing damage to your ear canal or your ear drum.”
If your ‘conveyor belt’ isn’t working and you experience a build-up of ear wax, the best thing to do is visit your doctor to have your ears cleaned out in a simple procedure.