Jay Dolitsky MD FAAP Ped ENT www.MDK.com
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Male: People seem to try to clean wax of the ear with Q-tips but that is not a good idea or is it? Dr. Dolitsky: Q-tips are pretty much never a good idea because even though a Q-tip will move some wax. Especially in children who have smaller ear canals. What typically happens is a small amount of wax which we call cerumen comes out on the Q-tip and then the majority of the wax gets pushed in deeper and as that happens over the course or period of time. More and more wax gets pushed in. And then time comes when the physician has to clean it, and now the wax is much deeper in the ear canal than it would have been otherwise, which makes our job more difficult because it is deeper and it is not in the part of the ear canal that is much more sensitive. So it is harder to clean. More likely for the child to not cooperate and end up with bleeding an unpleasant situation. It is best to leave it alone.