Questions Answers

Ear wax: should I clean it with ear buds?

For this we should first understand that ear wax is a secretion from the ceruminous and sebaceous glands. This is secreted and is cleaned itself by natural process of its migration outwards.

The ear wax has its own functions. It acts as a natural moisturizer for the skin of the outer part of the ear and it also prevent the dust and foreign particles from going inside the ear.

If we try to clean the ear with the ear bud then as we are doing it blindly there are chances of causing injury in the ear canal and sometime to the ear drum also. While trying to clean the wax one may push the wax deeper in the ear canal and over period of time it goes on collected leading to accumulation and impaction of wax. This may cause pain. As the moisturizing effect goes away on cleaning it, this can give rise to itching leading to temptation of cleaning and rubbing the ear canal with ear bud. This repeated cleaning can lead to abrasion and hence infection in the ear canal.

So, one should not try to clean the ear with the buds but if it is causing discomfort then one should visit the ENT specialist for cleaning and further advice.