Stop Using Q-Tips Right now

Stop Using Q-Tips Right now Q tips Heather / Flickr cc

The rolling back and forth of Q-tips is a guilty pleasure for many. After all, it gives that tingling and satisfying feeling.

The tiny Q-tips are widely used all over the world. It is the most common way to remove earwax or cerumen. But experts said that putting small things, including Q-tips, could only worsen cerumen buildup and even cause major ear problems.

Experts from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation published a study on the best practices on treating earwax or cerumen impaction. The study was published in the journal of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery on Tuesday.

Diagnosis, Treatment Recommentations

The study focused on providing evidenced-based diagnosis and treatment recommendations for cerumen impaction. It also specifically listed some of the things people should avoid that can worsen this condition.

It was explained that cerumen plays an important role in warding off insects and other irritants from entering the ear. The ear has its own mechanism of ridding off the wax, either by circulating old wax out of the ear cavity or by growing new skin cells.

But when these processes no longer occur, serious ear problem could arise. Among the most common consequences of this is the build-up, which could result in several other hearing disturbances.

How Serious It Is?

Physician Seth R. Schwartz emphasized that the recommended guidelines do not only apply to healthcare professionals, but most especially to the public. This is true, considering the fact that many erroneously associate earwax with poor hygiene and uncleanliness.

“This update is significant because it not only provides best practices for clinicians in managing cerumen impaction, it is a strong reminder to patients that ear health starts with them, and there are many things they should do as well as many things that they should stop doing immediately to prevent damage to their ears,” Schwartz said.

Data from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) show that one in every ten children experience cerumen impaction. However, this condition is fairly common among senior adults housed in nursing care at 57 percent. Experts advised individuals to seek medical attention when the condition worsens or when complication occurs.