There are many things around us that we assume to be a certain way without truly understanding their original use. Take cotton buds, for example.
Can you imagine that cotton buds were not created for cleaning ears? Yes! The actual purpose for which we use them is something else entirely.
In a 2019 study, it was revealed that 62% of British people believed that cotton buds are used for cleaning ears, which is a misconception.
In the 1920s, Polish-American Leo Gerstenzang invented cotton buds as a health care product for infants. They were originally introduced for cleaning newborns’ umbilical cords, a practice that some women still continue.
Additionally, cotton buds are used for various other purposes, such as applying makeup, spreading eyeliner, cleaning around the nails, and for art and craft.
Later on, people started using them to clean ears and began to perceive them as exclusively meant for that purpose.
Why are cotton buds harmful to your ears?
There are several reasons why you should not insert cotton buds, keys, or hairpins into your ears. Let’s take a closer look at a few of them.
The substance that we consider as earwax is actually a natural material produced by the body that protects the delicate surface of the ear, like ear drums.
The earwax that goes into the ear is transformed into “earwax wax,” which does not cause any harm. During eating or speaking, this wax dries up and falls out of the ears naturally. It is a natural process that keeps your ears clean.
Using cotton buds or fingers to clean ears can lead to injury or even hearing loss because the ear canal is very delicate.
Instead of cleaning the ears with cotton buds, earwax can be pushed further inside, leading to infections and other diseases.
There is also a risk of the cotton bud or its fibers getting stuck inside the ear, which can be very difficult to remove.