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Are cotton buds safe to clean the ear wax?

Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16654 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 14 Jun 2016 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Is using cotton buds to remove ear wax ok?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
not normally recommended, can compact wax , damage eardru

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

If you only intend to use them at the very outer aspect of the ear and not insert it into the middle ear then it is fine.

If you insert further, you may push the wax towards the ear drum and cause it to become compacted and harder , making it more difficult to remove.
There is also the risk of damaging the eardrum.

You can consider a softening agent. When the wax is soft, it would come out to the outer ear allowing it to be easily removed.

Softening agents should be over the counter at your local pharmacy.

If this alone is not helpful, you may need to have your ears syringed

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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