Something you might not think twice about using is a Q-Tip to clean your ears. According to research published in the British Journal of General Practice, around 68-percent of people use cotton swabs to remove earwax. Around 76-percent of those people admit to doing it at least weekly. But it turns out, this actually isn’t the best habit to have in our hygiene routine.
So, what’s the harm in using Q-Tips to give our ears a proper cleaning? Here’s a rundown of how you could be doing your ears more harm than good when using cotton swabs.
Why Do We Have Earwax?
Before we dive into the Q-Tip controversy, let’s review why humans have earwax in the first place. The proper term for it is cerumen and it’s actually meant to protect the ears with its lubricating and antibacterial properties.
Cleveland Clinic says that earwax is produced by the outer part of the ear canal and is made up of dead skin cells and hair discharged from two different glands. Old earwax eventually just flakes off through everyday motions like chewing or talking. But earwax can also build-up, which is what can prompt people to stick a Q-Tip in their ear to remove it.