Doctors warn against removing ear wax, say could lead to hearing loss

07 December,2023 08:19 AM IST |  Lucknow  |  IANS

President of the Association of Otolaryngologists, Lucknow chapter, Dr Rakesh Srivastava said that the human ear has a self-cleaning mechanism and no routine maintenance was required

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Medical experts have warned against using cotton swabs, ear picks, pens, or fingers to remove ear wax since this could lead to hearing loss.

During the fourth Voice-Con and Airway Conference, organised by the Association of Otolaryngologists (AOIENT surgeons), experts said that hundreds of such cases are reported every month in the city, where individuals unintentionally cause damage to their ears.

President of the Association of Otolaryngologists, Lucknow chapter, Dr Rakesh Srivastava said that the human ear has a self-cleaning mechanism and no routine maintenance was required.

"Earwax, or cerumen, serves as a natural protector for eardrums and inner ear against dust and dirt. Improper cleaning pushes wax deeper into the ear canal, resulting in heightened pressure, reduced hearing, and painful ear and infections. Five-six such cases come to light every month," he added.

Another otolaryngologist, Dr Sumit Sharma, urged the people to refrain from putting mustard oil in children's ear. This is a common practice in north India.

"Putting oil in the ear canal does nothing good. On the contrary it might flare up infection, if any," he added.

Regarding excessive wax, he said, "Only some people have this problem because of the design of their ear canal. These individuals, if necessary, may contact doctors who use suction techniques and a syringe filled with warm water and saline or diluted hydrogen peroxide to remove wax."

Highlighting another negative aspect of wax removal, Dr Ashish Chandra of RMLIMS said that wax protects the ear from infection from water in ear canal. "It also protects the eardrum from dirt. There should be some wax in the ear for its wellbeing. Even in case of infection, we clean wax when the infection is cured," he added.

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