You may think that you're cleaning your ears with cotton buds but according to health experts, you're actually damaging your ear canal, eardrum and pushing wax further down.
According to Daily Mail, the draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) also mentioned that ear syringing in which a large metal syringe is used to pump water manually into the ear to clear the earwax out is potentially harmful.
Instead, Nice recommends 'ear irrigation' -- a process in which an electronic machine will pump water safely into the ear at a controlled pressure to remove the wax but it is to be done under the guidance of a general practitioner.
Katherine Harrop-Griffiths, consultant in audiovestibular medicine and chairwoman of the guideline committee told the media outlet: "Ear irrigation is an effective method of removing earwax."
Katherine added: "Ear drops should be used to soften the wax, either immediately before or for up to five days before the procedure."
The Nice committee mentioned: "The general advice given is not to insert anything into the ear canal as it is self-cleaning and the only cleaning needed is to gently wipe the conch of the external ear with a damp flannel over a finger."
Earwax which is also known as cerumen is a naturally occurring substance that protects the skin of the ear canal and helps in keeping it clean while giving protection against bacteria. The excess wax falls out on its own as the ear cleans itself. The entrance to the ears can be cleaned with a damp flannel.
If it doesn't fall out on its own, it's better to visit your GP or pharmacist. You can use almond oil or olive oil twice a day which can also help in removing the wax, according to National Health Service.