According to recent reports, what is one item almost everyone has in their medicine cabinet that they don’t use correctly? That can even be dangerous, leading to visits to the ER, unnecessary injuries, and even permanent deafness, in the worst cases? Most readers may guess a pill or prescription medicine. They would be wrong. The answer is cotton swabs.
Cotton Swabs Lead to Quite some Visits to the Emergency Room
In an article in the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers assert that cotton swabs account for about 34 emergency room visits a day. The study is based on data gathered in between 1990 to 2010.
In a statement, Kris Jatana, M.D. and one of the study authors, explains that ear-wax is a naturally occurring product of the body. Excess earwax can be cleaned off using a swab, if necessary, or a wet soft cloth. However, no object should ever be inserted into the ear canal.
Many people have a misconception about the use of cotton swabs and utilize them by inserting these directly into the ear. Consumers are advised to read the health advisory carefully on the packaging of these everyday household items. In doing so, they should note the wording used. Q-tips, one of the most well-known brand, for example, say that the product should never be inserted in the ear.
Most children involved in the study that had to visit the ER were under 8. They were taken to the hospital as they were suffering from perforated ear drums. This is a dangerous condition that can affect hearing permanently.
Still, this is only one type of injury that can result from the excessive use of cotton swabs when cleaning the ears. There is the danger of damaging the canal. Or perhaps even leaving a bit of cotton in the ear drum, where it can cause an abscess.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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