Recent Blog Articles

Staying Healthy

3 reasons to leave earwax alone

August 16, 2020

About the Author

photo of Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Dr. Robert H. Shmerling is the former clinical chief of the division of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and is a current member of the corresponding faculty in medicine at Harvard Medical School. … See Full Bio
View all posts by Robert H. Shmerling, MD


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


Charles Blackwell
May 19, 2017

“…If you feel that you should put some object in your ear canal, talk to a doctor about doing it first. That is a very serious action and could cause you serious and irreversible hurt.”

William T. Gallucci BS,BS, MS,MS, ABD
June 6, 2017

Its a hole in your head. Who can resist putting somethihng in a hole. But, nothing smaller than your foot. Most people can get their foot at least to their mouth. Its hard to resist especially after a shower. I will use a tissue or a little suction device made just that purpose.

Joe Martin
May 18, 2017

I occasionally use my little fingernail to remove some wax from my right ear. I notice an improvement in hearing, but my left ear does not seem to need this.

May 18, 2017

I wish I could have read this article before. I have already damaged my right ear because I was trying to clean my earwax and now I got the infection, partial hearing loss and severe and sharp pain. I am on medication right now. hopefully I learned my lesson and will never insert anything into my ear canal no matter what. The best thing is always go to the doctor and let him/ her do the proper treatment in case you feel there is something in your ear, something build up inside or itchy feeling. Inserting any object inside your ear could damage your ear drum for which you have to pay a high price by losing hearing ability, sharp and severe pain and even worst.

May 18, 2017

I seriously love a good q-tip twirl inside my ear canal. Are there any services available out there to help me stop this behavior?

Commenting has been closed for this post.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.