Earwax (a.k.a cerumen) is produced by the ceruminous glands in the ear canal and serves to trap dust and foreign particles (e.g. bacteria and insects). Cleaning of the ear canal occurs naturally by a “conveyor belt” migration of wax to the external opening of the ear.
Attempts to remove ear wax with Q-tips/cotton swabs/ cotton buds/ reusable swabs is the most common cause of perforated eardrum and can interfere with this natural flow of wax, causing a blockade. This can be quite painful, cause hearing problems, dizziness or ringing in the ear. Just like crayons don’t belong up noses, the ear canal isn’t the place for reusable swabs.