cotton buds

Seriously Guys, It's Time to Stop Cleaning Your Ears With Cotton Buds

2020/11/25 17:14

Today's Vocabulary

1. invade (v)
enter a country by force with large numbers of soldiers in order to take possession of it

2. excess (v)
amount that is more than acceptable, expected, or reasonable

3. diseases (n)
illness of people, animals, plants, etc., caused by infection or a failure of health rather than by an accident

4. stuffing (n)
material that is pushed inside something to make it firm

5. substance (n)
material with particular physical characteristics

6. particles (n)
extremely small piece of matter

7. snap out of sth ( phr.v)
force yourself to stop feeling sad and upset

Seriously Guys, It's Time to Stop Cleaning Your Ears With Cotton Buds

If you’re in the habit of sticking cotton buds (aka Q-Tips) in your ears, snap out of it – that’s the latest advice from the American Academy of Otolaryngology, which studies diseases of the ear and throat.

By stuffing cotton buds inside your ears, you’re risking gunking them up with an excess of earwax, a medical condition called cerumen impaction. Your ears are designed to clean themselves by gradually pushing earwax out, but by using buds you might be pushing all that excess wax back in.

Earwax isn’t the most pleasant substance to think about, but it does an essential job of keeping your ears healthy. The substance not only cleans out the ears, but stops them from drying out, and helps the ears to sweat naturally.

The wax also blocks any dirt particles trying to invade our ear canals. Normally, through processes like chewing – or any jaw movement – and growing more skin cells, the earwax gets slowly pushed out, hardens, and then drops off our ears or gets washed away.

Doctors recommend going for a check-up if you notice a build-up of earwax, hearing loss, or ringing in your ears (which could be tinnitus).

This isn’t new advice and is something experts have been saying for years, so let’s hope the message finally gets through – cotton buds have their uses, but cleaning your ears out is not one of them.


  1. How dangerous is putting cotton buds in the ear?
  2. Why do people think earwax is a sign of uncleanliness?
  3. Have you ever hurt or damaged your ears?

“You have two eyes, and two ears, but only one mouth. This is so because you are supposed to look and listen more than you talk.”

Lucca Kaldahl