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Doctor insights on: Can Use Of Cotton Swabs To Clean Our Ears Lead To Problems

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Can use of cotton swabs to clean our ears lead to problems?

Can use of cotton swabs to clean our ears lead to problems?

Cleaning ears: Using cotton swabs to ear canals can lead to perforated ear drum or inflammation of the ear canal (otitis externa). Better to use an otc ear wax removal product (follow instructions) or see your pcp if you have wax build-up problems. ...Read more

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I've seen opposing views on the usefulness of cotton swabs. Should adult not use cotton swabs to clean their ears?

I've seen opposing views on the usefulness of cotton swabs. Should adult not use cotton swabs to clean their ears?

Swabs vs ears: Funny, I have not seen any opposing views (although i hadn't looked until just now). I'm not aware of anyone recommending use of cotton (or other material) swabs to clean ear canal (although they fit perfectly!). In fact, don't stick anything inside ear. Use swabs only to clean outside of ear. Check out http://goaskalice.Columbia.Edu/why-exactly-shouldnt-i-stick-cotton-swabs-my-ears. ...Read more

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Are the companies that sell and advertise them responsible that so many people use cotton swabs to clean their ears?

Are the companies that sell and advertise them responsible that so many people use cotton swabs to clean their ears?

No: I would not blame the companies that make cotton swabs. They are useful to clean dirt in the crevices of the outer ear and behind the outer ear. If you are attempting to clean wax out by inserting a q-tip into the ear canal, then it is your responsibility to abstain from using them in the ear canal. Also, teach your children not to use them to clean out wax. Ent docs will give you advice. ...Read more

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Is it really bad to use cotton swabs to clean your nose and ears?

Is it really bad to use cotton swabs to clean your nose and ears?

Nope-be careful: Not at all as long as you use care. Why are you using these anyway. Get you an ear and a nose wash from the drug store. Let them drain and drip dry. Use a hairdryer to dry the ears. Cleaning the ears daily can dry them and cause itchy ears. Poking things in your nose can cause bleeding and that can be a headache. ...Read more

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Is Hydrogen peroxide bad or harmful to use while cleaning ears with cotton swabs? I do it a lot I need a way to get ear wax out

Is Hydrogen peroxide bad or harmful to use while cleaning ears with cotton swabs? I do it a lot I need a way to get ear wax out

Ear cleaning: You should never insert a cotton swab into your ears as it will injure your ear canal and ear drum. Cotton swabs are not made to be inserted into your ears. You are actually pushing the wax deeper into your ear canal. ...Read more

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Is it safe to use a cotton swab to gently clean the gunk out of my ear? I have otitis externa and am using the ear drops

Is it safe to use a cotton swab to gently clean the gunk out of my ear? I have otitis externa and am using the ear drops

"No!" (well, maybe): The usual advice for cleaning ears is "nothing smaller than your elbow" goes in your ears. Eg; NO Q-tips, Bic pen tops, chop sticks, etc. However, you probably have some drainage so gently cleaning the OUTSIDE of your ear would be fine, but I would avoid putting anything in the ear canal. Doing so, while tempting, usually just makes things worse by jamming the canal full of wax. ...Read more

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Itchy tender ear canal. Hydrogen peroxide burns it. Have this problem often, but worse this time. Never use cotton swabs or swim. How do I fix this?

Itchy tender ear canal. Hydrogen peroxide burns it. Have this problem often, but worse this time. Never use cotton swabs or swim. How do I fix this?

Otitis externa: It could be infected and may need antibiotic ear drops. In many cases, chronic otitis externa is an eczematous condition that responds to other ear drops that can be prescribed. See ENT. ...Read more

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Can I clean my baby's ears with a cotton swab?

Can I clean my baby's ears with a cotton swab?

Yes: Only clean the outer part of the ear and don't insert into the hole. You will wind up pushing in more wax then getting it out. ...Read more

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My brother 30years is having fungus in his ears he cleans it using cotton swab but it develops again please suggest what to do?

My brother 30years is having fungus in his ears he cleans it using cotton swab but it develops again please suggest what to do?

Ear fungus: First, he should make sure it's really fungus. Could just be a lot of wax? Or maybe a bacterial infection? His doctor can do a "culture" and see for sure what it is. If he's getting fungal infections regularly, he should also be tested for diabetes. Wish your brother best of luck! ...Read more

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I cleaned my husbands ear with peroxide and a cotton swab. Then his ear started bleeding. It has stopped but there is a cut and is clogged?

I cleaned my husbands ear with peroxide and a cotton swab. Then his ear started  bleeding. It has stopped but there is a cut and is clogged?

Never use Q-tips: As you probably know, Q-tips are not supposed to be used in the ear canal for the very reason you noted. You can accidentally cause a canal abrasion which bleeds. Now, you should go to an otolaryngologist to carefully examine and clean the ear. There are many OTC remedies to dissolve ear wax safely rather than using Q-tips. Please look into that area in the future. ...Read more