NOV 21, 2017 05:46 AM PST

Q-tips: You're Doing it Wrong

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Doctors like to recommend against putting anything smaller than your elbow in your ear, and this apparently includes Q-tips! Q-tips, or the small cotton swabs that are perfectly sized to dab and clean small areas of your bodies, could actually cause hearing loss when used incorrectly in the ear. Because it is so perfectly shaped for the ear canal, people who use Q-tips to clean the ears of wax can actually push the more wax into the eardrum, creating a wax plug that impacts hearing.

If you experience intermittent hearing loss without any other indication, wax buildup could be the culprit, though this should always be properly diagnosed by a physician. The good news in such cases is that hearing can be restored with removal of the waxy plug. The remedy involves a solution that dissolves part of the wax and causes it to dislodge from the eardrum. To prevent such cases from happening, doctors recommend against Q-tips in the ear; instead clean the outside part with a damp cloth or just leave it alone!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 12, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2019
These Monkeys Thought a Troop Member Died, and Their Reactions Are Heartbreaking
Scientists carefully placed a high-detail animatronic ‘spy monkey’ near the site of a troop’s living quarters in an effort to gather info...
NOV 12, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2019
Watch a Young Chimpanzee Fall in Love With a Spy Tortoise
Animals can be wary of human presence in their natural habitat, so much so that they’ll often flee the scene, preventing scientists from gathering da...
NOV 12, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 12, 2019
Why the Search for Other Planets is So Captivating
Astronomers are continuously searching for other planets, whether those reside right here in the solar system with us, or far away in another stellar syste...
NOV 12, 2019
Cardiology
NOV 12, 2019
Runner's Knee, a Rundown
Perhaps you have taken up a running or another cardiovascular activity to protect your health as you age. This is, of course, a wise and proactive thing to...
NOV 12, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2019
What Makes Cheetahs Such Adept Predators?
The humble cheetah has earned its reputation as the world’s fastest land animal. This large cat is capable of accelerating to speeds of up to 60 mile...
NOV 12, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2019
What Makes Lions Such Incredible Predators?
Lions sport a reputation as one of nature’s fiercest beasts, but have you ever wondered what makes them such renowned predators? These large cats are...
Loading Comments...