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Do not Use Earbuds to Remove Wax!!

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Do not Use Earbuds to Remove Wax!!

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This article stresses upon the fact that earbuds should not be used to remove wax. It also discusses the best way to remove ear wax.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At September 4, 2014
Reviewed AtJune 13, 2022

Yes, it is true that the use of earbuds is not recommended for removal of ear wax.

Why is it Unsafe to use Earbuds?

The reason is very simple.

  • Ear wax is produced by glands present in the outer part of the ear canal which is close to the ear pinna (outer part of the ear).
  • The skin in the outer ear canal grows outwards at a speed of one to three millimeters per day.
  • Wax that is produced is expelled out on its own along with the growing skin.
  • Therefore there is no need to try and remove the wax from within the ear canal.
  • By inserting an earbud the wax is pushed inside the canal into a narrower bony region from where the skin is tightly adherent to the bone and hence does not grow outwards.

When the ear wax stays there, it dries up and gets impacted. This can cause decreased hearing and also ear pain if it gets infected.

How to Remove Ear Wax?

  • The best way to remove ear wax is by cleaning the ear canal superficially with the edge of a thin towel or handkerchief after a hot water bath.
  • Those with large amounts of sticky wax may need to use ear drops that help dissolve wax and can be removed using a small procedure called syringing.

Remember, ear wax is protective. It prevents entry of dirt, reduces infection and even prevents insects from entering into the ears.

For any clarifications regarding ear wax removal, consult an ENT otolaryngologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-Otolaryngologist

Frequently Asked Questions


What is radiology?

The medical specialty that uses imaging techniques, such as X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, etc., to diagnose and treat medical conditions is called radiology.


What are the types of radiology?

The two common types of radiology are:
- Diagnostic radiology - It is used to diagnose the cause of the symptoms that the patient is experiencing. Examples include CT scan, MRI, mammography, and ultrasound.
- Interventional radiology - The use of imaging techniques to guide therapeutic procedures. Examples include angiography, embolization, needle biopsies, and vertebroplasty.


What is the role of a radiologist?

Physicians who are trained in diagnostic or interventional radiology are called radiologists. They perform tests to diagnose a condition and an interventional radiologist treats cancer, blocks in the arteries, liver and kidney problems, and uterine fibroids using interventional radiology.


What diseases does a radiologist treat?

Some of the conditions that a radiologist treats are angioplasty and stent placement for heart blockages, embolization to control bleeding, chemo or radioembolization to treat cancer, etc.


Can a radiologist perform surgery?

An interventional radiologist does perform image-guided and minimally invasive surgeries. For example, performing biopsies, drain abscesses, insert catheters, and stent placement.


Do radiologists help in the diagnosis of cancer?

Radiologists, with the help of various imaging techniques, have improved the diagnosis and treatment of different types of cancer.


What are the benefits of radiology?

The various imaging techniques used in radiology help your doctor see your internal organs without the need to open you up. It helps in the early detection of cancer, thus reducing the mortality rate. Most of the imaging techniques are painless and the treatment can be done using minimally invasive procedures.


When should you consult a radiologist?

You will have to consult a radiologist when your primary care physician wants you to get a diagnostic imaging test.
Dr. Jagdish Chaturvedi
Dr. Jagdish Chaturvedi

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


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