Can you make my ears bleed

Clean ears: be careful with cotton swabs

Status: 11/28/2017 12:07 pm | archive
If necessary, the auricle and the entrance should be cleaned with cotton swabs.

Cleaning the ears and removing wax (cerumen) is part of the daily routine for many people. Drugstores and supermarkets have a whole arsenal of different tools and aids ready: from tiny "corkscrews" for ear wax to small ear vacuum cleaners, special candles to burn in the ear canal to spoons and loops to scrape out - and of course the classics: cotton swabs, cleaning sprays and -solutions. But some things can go wrong when cleaning your ears with these utensils, experts warn. And only very few people actually need aids to clean their ears, for example because they produce too much cerumen or their ear canal has lost its function of transporting ear wax outside.

What do we need ear wax for?

For most people, the removal of earwax works by itself and as much of it is produced as the body needs. The sticky secretion has the task of covering the thin skin of the ear canals with a protective layer of fat. In addition, dust and dead skin cells collect in the ear wax. Small hairs transport this together with the cerumen to the outside. In addition, the bitter taste of the ear wax prevents bacteria from attacking the eardrum and insects crawling into the ears unnoticed.

It is best not to clean ears at all

Because of the important functions of the ear wax, ear, nose and throat specialists advise you to forego regular cleaning altogether, unless it is clear that it is actually necessary. Lard dissolving sprays or oils are less dangerous than mechanical aids. They don't break anything, but they're not cheap either. It is cheaper to rinse your ears with warm water in the shower from time to time than drops or sprays.

Risk of eardrum injury

Doctors strongly advise against ear vacuum cleaners, spoons, slings or corkscrews. The risk of an eardrum injury is too great because the ear canal is just two centimeters long and the instruments are inserted without sight. In addition, bruises in the ear canal or inflamed blood blisters can easily develop. In the case of candles that are burned in the ear canal, wax and soot residues often remain despite the drip protection, which then have to be removed by the ENT doctor.

Earplugs - turn off noise properly

Street noise, loud music, annoying snoring: Typical noises that can be nerve-wracking. Earplugs can help. But which ones protect properly? more

Cotton swabs sound more harmless than they are

The most popular ear cleaning tool among Germans is the cotton swab. Many people push it in as far as it will go, using circular movements to get the wax out. However, doctors warn that the auricle and the entrance should be cleaned with cotton swabs. Because in the ear canal, the cotton swab pushes most of the earwax with all the dirt in front of the eardrum. This can lead to hearing loss, but also to inflammation, as the hard ear wax is a good breeding ground for germs. In addition, cotton swabs are not as soft as their name suggests: they scratch the thin skin in the ear canal and cut off the fine hairs. That's why it even says on the packaging that you shouldn't stick it in your ear.

Ear wax is protection

Ear wax is not dirt, but protection. Anyone who has the feeling that there is too much of it in their ear canal should see a doctor instead of using unnecessary and possibly even harmful aids.

What to do if you have a sudden hearing loss?

A sudden hearing loss occurs - so far there is neither a clear explanation nor a safe and effective therapy. In most cases it will go away on its own. more

This topic in the program:

Visit | 11/28/2017 | 8:15 pm