Why You Shouldn’t Use Cotton Swabs to Clean Your Ears

By Dr. Mercola Guidelines have recently been submitted that support something you probably already knew, that using cotton swabs to clean your ears isn’t a good idea. The latest counsel was published in the journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, authored by the American Academy (AAO-HNS) advisory panel of the same name.1 You may remember the mantra that’s been repeated since you were a kid: Never put anything in your ear that’s smaller than your elbow. But why? We all want clean ears; further, being able to hear what’s being said at the dinner table is usually a good thing, so if there’s wax buildup, getting rid of it somehow seems logical. Dr. Seth Schwartz, chairman of the guideline update group for the Academy, said doctors aren’t the only ones paying attention to such guidelines. They’re aware that, especially in recent years, more people have been opting for self-care. Incidentally, while one wouldn’t think such a document would be especially sought after, apparently it is


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