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New Recommendations On An Old Piece of Advice About Why You Shouldn't Clean Your Ears With Q-Tips

Jan 12, 2017

Credit Michigan Medicine

You've heard the advice: Never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.  Yet using Q-tips is still a common practice for a lot of people.

Michigan Medicine's General Internal Medicine Dr. David Stutz was one of the authors of a new set of guidelines put out by the American Academy of Otolaryngology that advises against the use of Q-tips for earwax removal.  I spoke with him and he shared his advice for overall ear care

Dr. Stutz says people put a lot of different things in their ears including paper clips, pencils, and keys, which he says is just like using Q-tips and carries the same advice:  If you can't see what you're doing, you can really do some damage to your ear.

Dr. Stutz also opposes the use of ear candling for wax removal.  He said he doesn't believe it does any good and doesn't make much sense.

Ears clean themselves, according to Dr. Stutz, who says most earwax will come out on its own.

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— Lisa Barry is a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU. Contact her at 734.487.3363, on twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her lbarryma@emich.edu