Updated: May 18
Probably one of the most commonly asked questions to an Audiologist would be .... "Can I use cotton buds". However, this seemingly harmless routine can actually be quite dangerous. While cotton buds may seem like a good way to clean out earwax, they can actually push the wax deeper into the ear canal, causing a blockage or even damaging the eardrum.
One of the main problems with using cotton buds is that they can push the earwax further into the ear canal. Earwax is produced naturally by the body to protect the ear canal and prevent infection. It is supposed to migrate out of the ear canal on its own, but using a cotton bud can push the wax back in, making it more difficult to remove and potentially causing a blockage.
So, what can you do instead of using cotton buds to clean your ears? The best course of action is to start with an ear wax softening agent. As a general rule different wax types react differently to different products so working out which one is best for you can sometimes mean altering between different drops to find the best solution. I usually advised my clients to start with olive oil as it is natural and go from there. There are a good range of olive oil products that you can start with but 'Earol' offers a low cost easy to use spray bottle which reaches even the deepest and most suborn wax.
In a lot of cases using a softening products alone in not enough and ear wax extraction is the way forward. At Draig hearing inspections of the ear canal come at not cost. If wax is found in the canal then a process of Micro suction is used to extract the wax. The micro suction method uses a high powered medical hoover operated by a qualified professional that extracts wax from the ear.
In conclusion, while cotton buds may seem like a quick and easy way to clean out earwax, they can actually be quite dangerous. Having the wax removal performed by a medical professional is considered by far, the safest method.
Jonathan Williams - Audiologist Draig Hearing
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