Earwax, also known as cerumen, is perfectly normal and has a purpose. In addition to lubricating the entire ear canal, it also has an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal action, in addition it protects against the dirt.

Regarding the use of cotton buds, the correct answer is NO, they should not be used. Using cotton buds tends to push the wax towards the eardrum, which can cause pain, local inflammation, changes in hearing patterns, or tinnitus and dizziness.

Pushing the cotton bud too far and rupturing the ear drum is also a surprisingly common thing to do. This can cause both temporary and permanent hearing loss.

So cotton buds are never to be used within the ear canal as this does not normally need to be cleaned. Only the outer area should be cleaned with a towel after bathing.

Excess or hard ear wax should be softened by application of olive oil drops for a few days. It will then naturally leave the ear. If it does not then the wax can be removed by a procedure called ‘microsuction’ in which a tiny suction device is used to directly clear the ear of debris. This is both safe and effective.
So in case of hearing complaints or extreme earwax production, please seek medical advice.

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