Ear Health Myths Debunked

Ear health, like many other health topics is plagued with many misconceptions and myths about how we should care for our body. We loved Tribeca Pediatrics’ ear-infection myth post so much we decided to borrow some of their shared wisdom and make our own list debunking ear health myths. Go ahead and test your ear health knowledge by reviewing the myths and their truth statements below.

Myth #1: My child’s ear-pulling means that he or she has an ear infection.
Truth: Ear-pulling or rubbing alone, is not a predictive sign that your child has an ear infection.

Myth #2: Q-tips are a safe to use to clean out my ears.
Truth: While Q-tips are great for cleaning small objects they are far from being safe to use in the ear. Ears are self-cleaning, and using small objects like Q-tips or hairpins can impact wax and push it further into the ear, which can lead to ear problems.

Myth #3: Swimming in a pool or taking a bath will cause a middle ear infection.
Truth:  Taking a bath or playing in the swimming pool will not cause a middle-ear infection. “Swimmer’s ear” is actually a completely different condition that affects the outside skin of the ear canal.

Myth #4: Ear candles can help you remove unwanted earwax.
Truth: Ear candles are dangerous and provide no therapeutic value or effect in the ear. Additionally, using ear candles put you at risk of starting a fire, burning your face or ears, and puncturing the eardrum. It is highly advised that you never use ear candles.

Myth #5: Kid’s shouldn’t go swimming if they have an ear infection.
Truth: Swimming with an ear infection is not a problem unless the eardrum is perforated.

Myth #6: Exposure to cold or strong drafts of wind will cause an ear infection.
Truth: Middle ear infections are not caused by cold winds or drafts.

Myth #7: You can cure an ear infection with drops of oil.
Truth: Oily or homemade drops of any kind have not been proven to cure an ear infection.

Be wise and remember to contact your physician in the event of:

  • Persistent ear pain
  • Bleeding or drainage from the ear
  • Sudden onset hearing loss
  • Acute dizziness or vertigo
  • Redness and swelling in or behind the ear

Our gratitude is owed to Audiologist, Dr. Dennis Van Vliet for his editing contributions on this post.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only; none of the above information should be viewed as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

4 thoughts on “Ear Health Myths Debunked

  1. Myths stay the way they are but its always wise to contact the doctor if someone have a pain in ear. Pain in ear can be cause because of many reason that can be either complicated or a less complicated one. Diagnosing it and treat at its initial stage is always the right way to deal with it.

    • allie_at_cellscope says:

      Hi George!

      Thanks for the great reminder. We totally agree with you. I always encourage readers to seek professional help if they are experiencing any symptoms, especially ear pain.


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