Graft in the ear: be careful with cotton swabs



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Graft in the ear? Cotton swabs do more harm than good

Many believe they do something good for their ears by cleaning their ears thoroughly with cotton swabs once a week. But they are far from there: repeated use of cotton swabs prevents the process of self-cleaning and leads to constipation rather than cleansing - this is what the "ENT-NRW", an association of resident ENT doctors in North Rhine-Westphalia, points out. These in turn often lead to ear wax plugs, which sometimes lead to hearing impairment, feeling of pressure, earache, itching, ringing in the ears and dizziness.

In the outer part of the ear canal there are sebaceous glands and hair follicles, the yellowish secretion of which together with dead skin flakes form the ear wax. This serves as a protective film for sensitive skin in the ear canal and has a bactericidal effect, among other things. With a plug, ear wax accumulates and narrows the outer ear canal. Upon contact with water, these accumulations swell up and may then completely block the ear canal. "Never try to remove the ear wax plug with a pointed object! The risk of injuring the eardrum or ear canal is simply too great, ”warns Dr. Uso Walter, ear, nose and throat doctor and CEO of HNOnet-NRW. "Instead, try to rinse carefully with lukewarm water and thus dissolve the graft." If this does not necessarily go see an ear, nose and throat doctor. In most cases, the graft can be loosened with a targeted water jet from a special ear syringe. If it is too tight, the expert will soften it with appropriate ear drops before the next rinse. In particularly stubborn cases, the culprit can only be removed under visual control with a so-called ear curette or with a special ear aspirator.

Basically, trust in the self-cleaning function of the ears and do not devalue ear wax as a nuisance. The most important rule: do not brush further than is possible with a cloth or a finger. “Pushing cotton swabs too far into your ear can cause irreparable damage. Dry ear canal skin can be cared for with a few drops of olive oil every few days, ”explains Dr. Walter. However, some people tend to produce more ear wax. A regular visit to the ENT doctor who professionally cleans the ear canals will help you. (pm)

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Video: The consequences of blindly using cotton swabs in the ear


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