Do not clean your ear holes with cotton swabs. I did, but now, in horror, I have stopped:
“A woman's daily habit of cleaning her ears with cotton swabs led to a life-threatening infection in her skull, according to news reports. The 37-year-old woman, who is identified only as Jasmine, said she cleaned her ears every night with cotton swabs, according to the Australian magazine That's Life! But over time, she noticed she had trouble hearing out of her left ear, and finally went to the doctor. She was initially told she had an ear infection, and was given antibiotics. But her hearing problems remained, and she soon noticed blood appearing on the cotton swabs after she cleaned her ears. After a hearing test showed she had moderate deafness, she was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist. The specialist ordered a CT scan, which showed a horrifying condition: Jasmine had a bacterial infection that was "eating away" at her skull bone behind her ear, That's Life! reported. "You should have come to see me four or five years ago," the specialist reportedly told Jasmine. "You need surgery yesterday." Jasmine eventually underwent a 5-hour surgery to remove the infected tissue and reconstruct her ear canal. The surgeons told her that she had cotton fibers lodged in her ear, which had become infected.