Quit using Q-tips, remove unsightly earwax

By Megan Bernatavitz
September 18, 2008

Shannon Keough

Removing earwax is another step to personal hygiene perfection. The method of removing the yellowish matter that forms inside ears needs to be addressed.

For years, the method of using Q-tips has been recommended by doctors to parents of young children.

Those children have grown up practicing the method, most likely incorrectly.

However, like many other methods, it was deemed medically unsafe to use Q-tips in fear of permanently endangering the ear drum. Most people have used Q-tips their whole lives.

Parents always told us that we didn’t want earwax buildup, so using Q-tips to clean our ears was a natural response.

It was unexpected to hear that using Q-tips can seriously damage the inside of the ear.

Nurse Susan Fitzgerald wants the Cabrini community to understand how harmful Q-tips are to the ear.

When using a Q-tip, the earwax doesn’t actually get pulled out but goes in deeper. When twisting the stick of the Q-tip it irritates the ear canal and can be very dangerous.

“If you push too hard with the Q-tip you can puncture the eardrum, especially if you jerk your head suddenly,” Fitzgerald said.

It’s surprising that all of these painful things can come just from using a stick with cotton on it.

It is important to inform everyone about the problems the Q-tip causes because it is very hazardous to one’s health.

Brian Moran, junior political science major, said, “I’m kind of shocked. I thought by cleaning my ears with Q-tips every time I got out of the shower I am keeping up with my personal hygiene. Now I know I am just harming myself.”

“It is really good to know about this and hopefully more people will become more informed in the future,” Moran said.

Fitzgerald said that using Q-tips on a daily basis is especially dangerous to people who have a lot of earwax build up. The only reason to use a Q-tip would be to clean the outer part of the ear.

There are many ways to keep ears clean instead of using Q-tips.

One way is to take a tissue and roll it up, turn the end into a point so it absorbs moisture.

There are also over- the- counter earwax removal products.

The safest way to clean ears is going to your primary care physician. The doctor will be able to flush the excess earwax out.

It is important to clean your ears because too much earwax can affect hearing.

It is necessary for everyone to learn the side effects of using Q-tips.

According to medical experts, Q-tips are dangerous and can cause extreme damage to a person’s ears.

If students follow the steps that nurse Fitzgerald suggested, then they will continue to be healthy.

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Megan Bernatavitz

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