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Why People Are Addicted to Cleaning Their Ears

February 2020 - Somehow cotton buds got the reputation for having one primary purpose, to clean your ears. They are most commonly called earbuds and can be very damaging to your ears. While many boxes warn not to stick them in your ears, people continue to do so. People have become addicted not only to the habit of cleaning their ears often but the satisfaction of pulling globs of wax out.

So why are people so addicted to cleaning their ears, and why does it feel so good?

What makes cleaning your ears feel so good?

There are a few factors that contribute to the obsession with ear cleaning. The first is somewhat of a placebo effect. When you clean your ears with a cotton bud and see ear wax, you will always think you've got more. Each day you may experience an itch or urge to have a dig and see if you can get out some more. You likely have no excessive wax at all, but your mind is playing tricks on you. On top of that, the more often you do it, the more likely it will become a habit.

The second reason is to do with your nerve endings. The nerve ending inside your ears are very sensitive. When the cotton bud touches those nerve endings, it triggers a pleasurable response in the body. The system of nerves in your ear is complex, and they connect to other parts of the body. When you itch your ear, you may feel a sensation in a different part of your body, such as your throat. One of your primary nerves, your Vagus nerve, runs from the brain to the butt. You can stimulate this nerve through your ear, which can cause sensation anywhere along the nerve line. Some of the common areas include your heart and stomach.

An additional theory is that it's just a part of your body that doesn't get much attention, and therefore, it causes a tickly sensation. Since these sensations all feel good, people will continue to dig.

When to seek help?

There are some cases where people over produce ear wax. If it builds up in the ear canal, it can put pressure on the eardrums and be quite painful. The most common symptom of excessive ear wax is trouble hearing, the ringing of the ears, ear pressure, or prolonged itching. If you have any of these symptoms or notice that you've got a lot of ear wax, it's an excellent time to seek help. An ear wax clinic like can assess your condition and advise the proper treatment. They are experts at painless, wax removal and can tailor the treatment to your situation.

Why you should never use a cotton bud in your ears

It may feel good to swirl a cotton bud inside your ear from time to time, but you should nip that habit in the 'bud.' Your ears are self-cleaning, and wax is vital for the safety of your ear canal. Removing it can cause more harm than good, and usually, you'll just end up pushing it deeper into your ear anyways. On top of that, one small slip and the cotton bud could puncture your sensitive eardrums. If you're set on cleaning your ears, there are ways to do so without the use of cotton buds.

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