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Using Earbuds To Clean Your Ears? Know How It Can Damage Your Ears

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 18 May 2023, Updated on - 30 November 2023

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Maintaining proper ear hygiene is crucial for the proper functioning of ears, which includes hearing and balancing the body. Although many individuals believe that cleaning their ears with a cotton bud is the best approach, there are potential risks to consider. Notably, using earbuds to clean your ears may do more harm than good. Therefore, it's important to understand how to maintain ear hygiene while avoiding any complications. This article will provide essential information on maintaining ear hygiene.

Why You Should Not Use Earbuds To Clean Your Ears?

Using earbuds is not recommended due to the sensitivity of the ear canal and the potential risk of injury. Here are some reasons why earbuds should be avoided:

1. Earwax will be pushed down further

While earbuds can effectively clean the outer part of your ears, using them for the inner part can result in earwax being pushed down and further into the ear canal. Moreover, there's a risk of pushing foreign particles deeper into your inner ear leading to a range of complications, such as ear pain and hearing loss.

2. Disrupts the natural cleaning mechanism of your ears

Your ears have a self-cleaning mechanism. Typically, a shower can help loosen and remove accumulated earwax as water enters the ear canal. Furthermore, the movements of your jaw, such as chewing, yawning, and speaking, can help to push out earwax.

3. Earwax serves as a natural protection for the ears

Earwax plays a vital role in protecting the ear canal by forming a protective layer, which helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in the inner ear while also providing lubrication to the skin of your ears. Although it's essential to remove excess buildup of earwax, it's equally important not to overdo it. Removing too much earwax can cause dryness and itchiness, making your ears more susceptible to infections.

4. Earbuds can lead to earwax blockage

Inserting earbuds into your ears can cause blockages that result in symptoms like dizziness, itching, pain, and hearing loss. It's important to remember that no sharp or even blunt object should be inserted inside the ear to remove dirt and debris.

How to Maintain Ear Hygiene?

Maintaining ear hygiene is essential for keeping your ears healthy and preventing problems like infections or blockages. Here are some tips for maintaining ear hygiene:

1. Do not insert anything into your ear canal

Avoid inserting cotton swabs, earbuds, or any other object into your ear canal, as it can push earwax further into the ear and cause injury or infection.

2. Clean the outer part of your ear with a damp cloth

Use a clean, wet cloth to wipe the outer part of your ear and remove any excess earwax or dirt. Be gentle and do not insert the fabric into your ear canal.

3. Let earwax come out naturally

Let your earwax come out naturally, do not try to remove it with any tool. You may clean the outer part of the ear once the wax comes out of the canal.

4. Avoid exposure to loud noises

Exposure to loud noises over time can damage your hearing and increase the risk of hearing loss. Wear earplugs if you are in a noisy environment.

5. Visit a doctor if you experience any ear problems

If you experience any ear pain, discharge, or hearing loss, then visit a doctor immediately. Do not try to self-diagnose or treat the problem, as it can lead to further complications.

To sum up, it is evident that using earbuds to clean your ears is not recommended due to their harmful effects. Maintaining ear hygiene is crucial for ensuring healthy ears, which can be done by cleaning the outer part of the ear with a damp cloth and avoiding exposure to loud noises. You can also tilt your head with the ear facing upward and put a soaked cotton ball or drops of saline solution, or hydrogen peroxide into the ear. Maintain the position for 1 minute to allow the fluid to seep through the wax and then switch the head to the opposite side to let the wax and fluid drain out. You may consult a doctor before trying out any remedy.

Consult An Apollo ENT Doctor

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Medically reviewed by Dr Dhanunjay Reddy


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