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Dr. Smith's Helpful Tips Archives for March of 2018

March's Tip

Published 03/01/2018

Many people like to use ear swabs (Q-tips).  These swabs are meant to be used on the outside of the ear, called the pinna.  They are not to be used to clean the deep part of the ear canal.  Doing this can lead to a variety of issues, such as ear canal infections (otitis externa), packing of earwax in the canal,  and accidental breakage of the swab which ends up stuck in the ear.

Never put a Q-tip further in the ear than the soft tip.  To clean the canal use a warm water jet like the shower or a syringe at the sink.  Be sure it’s warm; use of cold water for this causes massive dizziness and a free trip to the amusement park!