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For the love of God, please stop sticking things into your ear

Every now and then, doctors update their "best practice" guidelines based on new research and new problems that come up...

For the most part, the rules for ear doctors haven't changed much since the last ones came out in 2008. But the new guidelines explain how doctors should treat certain ear issues, and how to respond to stickier earwax problems. It also includes some helpful guidelines on how you, the patient, should take care of your ears.

One notable change, says Seth Schwartz, chair of the guideline update group, is that the "ear candling" is now called out specifically as something patients definitely should not do.

The alternative medicine practice of ear candling,…

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 For the love of God, please stop sticking things into your ear

Doctors are updating the guidelines on how to mind your earwax. Spoiler alert: Q-tips and ear candling are still bad for you.

ENT Health

Hearing and balance are critical to how we conduct our daily lives. ENT specialists treat conditions such as ear infection, hearing loss, dizziness, ringing in the ears (called tinnitus), ear, face, or neck pain, and more.

Ask DrSears

Top 4 causes -Ear infection -Swimmer’s ear -Common cold without ear infection — sometimes a simple cold can cause congestion or pressure inside the ear, which can be painful -Referred pain from another source — sore throat or tooth pain can be perceived as ear pain.


Ear problems are often caused by an infection. However, other conditions may also cause ear pain or discomfort.


Pain in the ear can occur because of conditions within the ear, the ear canal, or affecting the visible portion of the ear (the pinna). Acute middle ear infection, medically called acute otitis media, is inflammation of the middle ear and is the most frequent diagnosis in sick children...


The following steps can help prevent earaches: -Avoid smoking near children. Second-hand smoke is a major cause of ear infections in children. -Prevent outer ear infections by not putting objects in the ear. -Dry the ears well after bathing or swimming. -Take steps to control allergies. Try to avoid allergy triggers. -Steroid nasal spray may help reduce ear infections. However, over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants do NOT prevent ear infections.


Earache is cited as the most common reason for a parent to call a doctor out of hours for their child. It will often be the result of an ear infection. Adults are less likely to experience earache and ear infections than children.


Otalgia is aching or pain in the ear and causes can be primary, relating to the ear itself, or referred from sources outside the ear.

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