Ibrar ul Hassan, Saqlain Ghazanfar,Syed Aizaz Khalid, Adam Umair Ashraf Butt, Abdur Rehman Malik, Muhammad Sarfraz Khan, Areeb Khalid,Zunaira Azam,Syed Muhammad Jawad Zaidi
Background: Habitual cotton bud usage can result in cerumen impaction caused by pushing the cerumen deep into the canal, trauma to ear canal by damaging the surrounding epithelium, tympanic membrane perforation and otitis externa due to the infection with bacteria or fungi on already damaged epithelium. Objectives: The main objective of this study is to understand the perception of masses about cotton buds, their attitude towards its usage and also to investigate the factors that increase its usage. Methodology: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study done from August, 2019 to October, 2019. The study was carried out among patients visiting the Out-Patient Department (OPD) of ENT at District Headquarter Hospital, Rawalpindi. A descriptive analysis showing frequencies and percentages of responses was carried out using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) v.23.0 (IBM, Armonk, US). Results: Out of 250 questionnaires distributed, 196 were correctly filled giving us a response rate of 76.8%. The age ranged from 15 to 75 with a mean of 33.6(SD=13.46). The majority was being formed by males (61.5%). A majority of patients 104(54.2%) considered that use of cotton bud is beneficial for the ear while 72(37.5%) had a neutral response. Out of 192 respondents, 82(42.8%) were of the view that usage of cotton buds could be hazardous. Most of the participants 166(86.5%) used cotton buds by themselves without someone else’s advice. Using cotton buds after having a bath (42.7%), once a week (58.3%) was a common practice among respondents. Most of participants (69.8%) were using cotton buds for more than one-year. Conclusion: As is evident in the results of our study, the habit of using cotton buds is still prevalent in our community, which signifies a major lack of awareness. Thus, efforts must be made to educate the population regarding the potential harm that this seemingly inconsequential practice can cause in the long run. Keywords: Cotton bud use, Ear pain, Tertiary care Hospital, wax removal.