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Miss Ears Question and
Answer of the Month!

Out of all of this month's great questions, I selected this question because it gives advice that EVERYONE should take heed of.

The Question was:

I wanted to know what is wrong with my hearing. Two weeks ago, my right ear plugged when taking a bath and I couldn't hear a thing out of it. My friend told me to use a q-tip to dig in deep and get the wax out. Now I can barely hear anything and have trouble undertsanding what anyone says to me ... even if they are talking directly into my ears.

My problem is I have shoved the q-tips so far into the ear canal, I fear I may have done damage. I am pulling out rust-colored goo by the dozens of q-tips no matter how often I clean them. The only pain I have is when I insert a q-tip into my right ear. I have no ringing in my ears. Just cloudiness similar to the effect air pressure gives you. When I put a q-tip in my ear, it feels like suction. My hearing clears for a second, and then it is gone again. Clouded over. I don't trust my doctor and don't want to waste my time with him. Can you give me any ideas?

My Answer was:

First, STOP using Q-tips in your ears. They do more damage than good. Never put another Q-tip in your ears!!!!!! EVER! People using Q-tips can create infections, or do damage, by pushing them in too far. Q-tips are not meant for cleaning the ears.* They can pack earwax deeper into the ear canal, and aggravate the thin skin of the ear canal, causing it to “weep” or bleed.

Now, you may have damaged your ears, or they may just be plugged with wax. You must go see a doctor, if not your own, go to a walk in clinic. The wax that is in your ears may be pushed all the way down to the ear drum. The doctor will clean out your ears, the right way. Again, a Q-tip will not clean out your ears. Good luck and let me know what happens after the doctor.

Ms. Ears.

P.S. Please note, we are not trying to poke fun of or make anyone feel bad ... unfortunately, we see this type of question far too often and would like to stress the dangers of using Q-tips in your ears.

*P.S.S. The ironic thing about Q-Tips® (Q for quality) is that they were invented in the 1920's by Polish-born American, Leo Gerstenzang. After witnessing his wife cleaning out their babies ears with a toothpick swathed in cotton, he developed them as a safer alternative.

For more interesting tidbits on Q-Tips® click here.

For more information on cleaning your ears take a look at:

Q-Tips® is a registered trademark of Chesebrough-Ponds, Inc.

To see other questions and answers from "Ask Ms. Ears" at HearingCenterOnline.com please visit me!

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