Did you know? Most people don’t use Q-Tips properly and wind up putting them inside their ears in an effort to get rid of ear wax. And while it may feel good, using Q-Tips to clean your ears is a big mistake, and one that can do major damage. Not only is ear wax good for you, but putting a Q-Tip anywhere except for the outermost parts of your ear can be a big detriment to your health.
In this video, William H. Shapiro, an audiologist and a clinical associate professor from NYU Langone, reveals why everyone should stay away from Q-Tips. He says that using Q-Tips can push the wax further inside the ear canal, leaving wax sitting against the eardrum and decreasing its ability to vibrate. This can lead to hearing loss. In actuality, ear wax keeps insects away from the ear and also lubricates the ear canal. “It’s not a bad thing to have wax, but individuals should never take the wax out themselves,” William says.
Personally, I’ve noticed that whenever I use Q-Tips, my ears feel itchy soon afterwards, which is another common side effect. According to an article in the Washington Post, “Using Q-tips leads to what dermatologists refer to as the itch-scratch cycle, a self-perpetuating addiction of sorts. The more you use them, the more your ears itch; and the more your ears itch, the more you use them.”