13 doctors weighed in:
Can putting cotton swabs in my ear infect my brain?
13 doctors weighed in

Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics
10 doctors agree
In brief: But....
...It can puncture your eardrum which may cause serious hearing complications.
In children, " never put anything smaller than your elbow in any opening of the body".

In brief: But....
...It can puncture your eardrum which may cause serious hearing complications.
In children, " never put anything smaller than your elbow in any opening of the body".
Dr. Mark Diamond
Dr. Mark Diamond
Thank
3 comments
Dr. Paul Cohen
Glad someone remembered the adage about the elbow! I tell it to my patients at least 2-3 times/day and cannot stress enough how valid it is. Way to go dr. Pam!
Dr. David Wyatt
the elbow is the BEST example of the size to put into your ear - remember -for every little bit of wax that you get out with a cotton swab - many times that much is being pushed INTO the canal - unable to get to.. if you need the wax removed - see your primary care doctor for an irrigation - trust me - VERY HELPFUL when needed and SAFE!!! no brain infections!!! ;)
Dr. Steven Machtinger
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
In brief: No
There really is no good reason for putting cotton swabs in your ear.
Although you will get some earwax (cerumen) on the sides of the swab, the tip of the swab will push wax deeper into the ear canal. Frequent use of cotton swabs for ear cleaning often results in the opposite effect - an ear canal filled with cerumen and decreased hearing. I agree with the advice concerning elbows.

In brief: No
There really is no good reason for putting cotton swabs in your ear.
Although you will get some earwax (cerumen) on the sides of the swab, the tip of the swab will push wax deeper into the ear canal. Frequent use of cotton swabs for ear cleaning often results in the opposite effect - an ear canal filled with cerumen and decreased hearing. I agree with the advice concerning elbows.
Dr. Steven Machtinger
Dr. Steven Machtinger
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Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
In brief: No
No. Unless there is a communication between your ear and brain.
.. Which can be seen after skull trauma... But you would know that. In general, though, avoid putting anything "bigger than your elbow" in your ear.

In brief: No
No. Unless there is a communication between your ear and brain.
.. Which can be seen after skull trauma... But you would know that. In general, though, avoid putting anything "bigger than your elbow" in your ear.
Dr. Patrick Melder
Dr. Patrick Melder
Thank
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