People have a long history of putting things in their ears that they shouldn’t. If you’ve ever had an inner ear itch that you couldn’t quite reach, you know the temptation to insert something that will reach that itch can be tough, especially for long-time cotton swabbers.
But if cotton swabs are bad for your ears (it even says so on the box), why do they feel so good? The inside of your ears are jam-packed with nerve endings that aren’t touched often, and cotton swabs are pretty handy when it comes to stimulating those nerve endings and producing a pleasurable sensation, or dare we say eargasm.
However, cotton swabs’ abrasive texture can easily cause irritation and even inflammation when stroking against those sensitive nerve endings, increasing that itchy sensation you were trying to alleviate, which can turn into an itch-scratch cycle that’s difficult to break.
On the surface, that may sound like a minor inconvenience, but that’s just the tip of the cotton swab.
So why are cotton swabs considered so unsafe for cleaning ears?
When you insert a cotton swab into the ear, due to its size and length, there’s no place for extra wax to go but further in and down, which can lead to ear wax impactions, difficulty hearing, and even eardrum perforation.
And trust us, we’ve heard all the pro-cotton swab arguments: “I’ve been using cotton swabs for years and never had an issue,” “this is what cotton swabs were invented for,” etc. but it only takes a moment of inattention, a gentle bump from a spouse or child competing for bathroom counter space, or an unexpected sneeze to have serious, and possibly debilitating results.
How often do injuries from cotton swabs really occur?
- According to a 2017 study in the Journal of Pediatrics:
- In the United States, more than 30 children are sent to the ER every day for ear injuries caused by cotton swabs.
- Cotton tip application use is the most common cause of accidental penetrating ear injury in children.
- In a study published in JAMA Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery investigating the cause of tympanic membrane perforations diagnosed in ER departments, researchers found that around 66% of patients treated for traumatic eardrum perforations had caused the injury by sticking an ‘instrument’ in their ear. That instrument? Most commonly a cotton swab.
What should you use to clean your ears?
There’s a safer, gentler, and more effective way to clean your ears at home using the Wax-Rx Ear Wash System. The Wax-Rx gently removes excess ear wax using the same system trusted by doctors, clinics, and hospitals for over 20 years.
How Does the Wax-Rx Work?
Most at-home methods of ear wax cleaning are ineffective or even dangerous. Cotton swabs push wax further in. Ear vacuums don’t work. Ear Candling can lead to burns. But with Wax-Rx, not only is ear cleaning gentle and safe - removing excess ear wax is as easy as 1-2-3!
- Prepare: Use Wax-Rx Ear Wax Removal Aid Drops to soften ear wax build-up.
- Wash: Fill the Wax-Rx with very warm, distilled water. Insert the tip into your ear and pump vigorously to flush out excess ear wax.
- Rinse: Once wax has been removed, rinse the ear using our Wax-Rx pH Conditioning Powder.
Looking to Ditch An Itch?
If it’s not excess ear wax you suffer from, but dry, itchy ears, soothe the itch with Earvana, a non-greasy, non-oily Vitamin C formula that helps relieve irritation caused by winter days, showers, dry climates, hearing aid/ear plug users, or by taking ear-drying medications.