Tags: q | tips | ears | hearing | risk

Can Q-Tips Put Your Hearing at Risk?

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Wednesday, 20 Jan 2016 09:08 PM

Do you use Q-tips to clean your ears? If so, you may be putting your hearing at risk, a new report warns.

The Washington Post reports that Q-tips are the only major consumer product whose main purpose is precisely the one the manufacturer explicitly warns against.

The little padded sticks have long been marketed as household staples, pitched for various kinds of beauty upkeep, arts and crafts, home-cleaning, and baby care. For years, they have carried an explicit caution: "Do not insert inside the ear canal."

But almost everyone — especially those who look into people's ears for a living — know that many, if not most, flat out ignore the warning.

"People come in with cotton-swab-related problems all the time," said Dennis Fitzgerald, who is an otolaryngologist in Washington, D.C.. "Any ear, nose, and throat doctor in the world will tell you they see these all the time.

"People say they only use them to put makeup on, but we know what else they're using them for. They're putting them inside their ears."

It wasn't until sometime in the 1970s that boxes began to caution against sticking the things inside of ears. Today, the warnings are even more explicit. They say, rather unambiguously, "Do not insert swab into ear canal."

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If you use Q-tips to clean your ears, you may be putting your hearing at risk, a new report warns.
q, tips, ears, hearing, risk
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2016-08-20
Wednesday, 20 Jan 2016 09:08 PM
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