Ear health

Do not Use Earbuds to Remove Wax!!

Written by
Dr. Jagdish Chaturvedi
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Sep 04, 2014 and last reviewed on Jun 22, 2019   -  1 min read



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.

Do not Use Earbuds to Remove Wax!!

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 1 to 3mm 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

Last reviewed at:
22 Jun 2019  -  1 min read




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