NOV 21, 2017 5:46 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
JAN 19, 2021
Immunology
How Breastfeeding improves Infants Immunity?
JAN 19, 2021
How Breastfeeding improves Infants Immunity?
Breastfeeding benefits are well known for ages, and it has many positive impacts on infant's lives that continue wit ...
MAR 14, 2021
Immunology
How Are Allergies Developed?
MAR 14, 2021
How Are Allergies Developed?
You might have experienced it yourself or met someone that can not eat a certain food or can not take a specific medicat ...
FEB 10, 2021
Plants & Animals
Is the Nano-Chameleon the World's Smallest Reptile Species?
FEB 10, 2021
Is the Nano-Chameleon the World's Smallest Reptile Species?
Say “hello!” to the nano-chameleon, a top contender for the world’s smallest reptile. According to the ...
FEB 19, 2021
Plants & Animals
What can Lemurs Teach us About Love?
FEB 19, 2021
What can Lemurs Teach us About Love?
Although not entirely accurate, romantic sentiments such as "you're my lobster" or "you're my pen ...
MAR 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
MAR 26, 2021
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
The east coast is preparing for one of nature’s greatest spectacles. A gigantic swarm of periodical cicadas is due ...
MAY 23, 2021
Space & Astronomy
More Accurate Clocks Create More Disorder in the Universe
MAY 23, 2021
More Accurate Clocks Create More Disorder in the Universe
Physicists at the University of Oxford in the UK have conducted an experiment that suggests the more accurately clocks t ...
Loading Comments...