It’s something that many people do without think twice, but a new video may put you off cleaning your ears with a cotton bud.
The video shows a complex operation performed to remove the tip of a cotton bud from a man’s ear that was on the verge of costing him his hearing.
Mr Neel Raithatha, an audiologist based in Oadby, Leicester, posted the footage to his YouTube channel.
The patient had been attempting to use a cotton bud to relieve an itch in his ear, when he discovered the tip had got lost in his ear.
Mr Raithatha explained: “The client attended with a cotton bud q-tip stuck against his eardrum. He suffers from Otitis Externa [inflammation of the external ear canal] and was using the cotton bud q-tip in an attempt to relieve the itchiness and irritation he was experiencing.”
Upon inspection, Mr Raithatha discovered that the ear canal was heavily inflamed, meaning he couldn’t use the standard suction probe, and had to resort to a fine ended probe.
Me Raithatha added: “I managed to extract the cotton bud enough to then use crocodile forceps to extracted the cotton bud.”
Thankfully, the patient retained his hearing, and was referred to his GP for future treatment.
While many people use cotton buds to remove wax and reach those deep itches, the NHS strongly advises against this.
On its help page, the NHS advised: “Cotton buds only push the wax/debris further down the ear canal and can lead to impacted wax, which can be painful.
“Also if the cotton part of the bud falls off into the canal, it can cause infection.
“The cotton buds can also scratch the canal and make it bleed which can lead to infection.”
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