Ear wax protects the eardrum of dirt and damage, and ensures strong antibacterial protection. It serves as a lubricant required for proper function of the eardrum. So, as you can see, cleaning your ears with a cotton swab is not such a good idea!
Regardless of the fact who was the first to tell you, whether it was your mother or grandmother, they were right when they advised you not to stick the cotton swab too deep in your ear.
To understand why is it so, we will explain more about the benefits of the so-called “earwax.” Its main role is to protect the ear canal, explains Dr. Douglas Backus from the American Academy of Otolaryngology.
One of the biggest mysteries of the human body is actually this: your ears clean themselves! When the earwax dries, every movement of your jaw, whether while you eat or talk, helps in the elimination of the earwax outside the ear canal. “It is like some kind of escalator,” jokes Dr. Backus.
The problem occurs when we stop believing in the possibilities of our body and we try to speed the process by using different cotton swabs. We believe that we are smarter than our organism, and we use cotton swabs to clean our ears. But, at that very moment we push the earwax deeper in the ear.
Moreover, we think that the cotton is tiny enough, but actually it is so big, that it pushes the earwax deeper in the ear. We manage to clean just some of the earwax, but that is not even close to the amount that is left in the ear.
“In that way we push the earwax deeper to the parts that are not able to clean themselves, and the problems occur at this point,” says Dr. Backus and explains that this condition can cause bacterial infections, which eventually may result in hearing loss.
About 12 million Americans consult a doctor every day, complaining about earache, and there are more than 8 million surgeries in the US only.