Cleaning earwax with a cotton bud: not healthy
ENT doctors will practically beg you to toss your cotton-tipped applicators: there’s no good reason to use them to clean your ears. First, earwax is healthy and necessary; it protects your ears and has antibacterial properties, and too little earwax can leave your ears dry and itchy.
What’s more, trying to remove it yourself usually backfires and pushes the earwax in deeper where it can wind up impacted and cause hearing loss. The Australian Government Department of Health recommends never inserting anything into the ear canal.
Burping: healthy habit
A loud, stinky belch after a huge meal isn’t exactly nice, but it is good for your stomach. When your stomach is packed with food, it feels heavy and bloated. A burp – which is essentially your body releasing air from the stomach up through the oesophagus and out your mouth – relieves some of that pressure. “Burping after meals is totally normal,” says Sheth. “But if you’re belching throughout the day and its unrelated to when you eat, you may be swallowing too much air.” Sheth says this can be a sign of stress, or of chewing a lot of gum. If you’re concerned, see a doctor.
Passing gas? Healthy habit
Literally like exhaust from your car, flatulence is a necessary and natural by-product of reactions in your digestive tract as your gut bacteria process food. You can only ‘hold in’ gasses like carbon dioxide and methane for so long before they need to come out eventually, says gastroenterologist, Dr Anish Sheth. Most people release gas about 14 times during the day and three to five times while they sleep. The colon is fairly dormant during the middle of the night, but it gets revved up and starts contracting when you wake up, sweeping out the gas that’s been trapped there all night. “The highest volume and longest emission of the day is usually in the morning when the colon wakes up,” Sheth says.