Health - Wellness
Why You Should Think Twice Before Cleaning Your Ears
Cleaning the ear canal may seem hygienic, but experts say this is a misconception. Dr. Kris Jatana, M.D., says ear cleaning can do more harm than good and that "the ear canals are usually self-cleaning."
According to Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. of Harvard Health Publishing, ear wax (medically referred to as "cerumen") is healthy and protects ears from dirt and dust while keeping the inside of the ear moisturized. Because of this, putting cotton swabs in your ears is risky business.
Ear specialist Dr. Yu-Tung Wong says that cleaning the ear with a cotton swab can potentially bring on punctured eardrums and hearing loss. He adds that the most serious ear injuries "can cause complete deafness, prolonged vertigo with nausea and vomiting, loss of taste function, and even facial paralysis."