Health Tips Doctors really, really want you to stop sticking q-tips and toothpicks in your ears

You’re likely only pushing your earwax further into your ear canal—potentially leading to serious harm to your hearing.

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Doctors really, really want you to stop sticking q-tips and toothpicks in your ears play

Doctors really, really want you to stop sticking q-tips and toothpicks in your ears

(Men's Health/Shutter Stock)
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Welcome to your daily roundup of important health news

Every day, an estimated 6,800 new peer-reviewed academic articles are published. That’s a whole lot of science to wade through—but don’t fret. We’ll do the legwork for you, each and every morning. Here’s your daily dose of the latest discoveries from journals, research institutions, and news outlets from around the world.

Keep the Q-Tips Out Of Your Ears
Your mom was right—keep anything smaller than your elbow out of your ears. That comes from updated guidelines published in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. Using things like cotton swabs, hair pins, toothpicks, or car keys to remove earwax can cause cuts in your ear, a perforation of your eardrum, or a dislocation of your hearing bones, which can lead to problems like hearing loss, dizziness, or ringing in your ears. Plus, you’re likely only pushing your earwax further into your ear canal—potentially leading to serious harm to your hearing.

Eat Your Fatty Fish
More evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can help your health: Taking in more of the fatty acids EPA and DHA can reduce heart disease risk in people with high triglycerides by 16 percent, and in people with high LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) by 14 percent, a meta-analysis of 34 studies concluded. Work on including more EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids in your diet by eating more oily fish like salmon or tuna. 

Switch Up Your Workout
Ever wonder why you’re not seeing results from your workouts? You might be a non-responder to that kind of training, a new study from Canada reports. But the good news is, it’s likely that switching up your routine will help. In the study, many of those who didn’t show aerobic improvements after three weeks of endurance training did experience benefits after the same amount of high intensity interval training—and vice versa. That means you’re probably not a true non-responder to all exercise—you just need a different training protocol, the researchers write.

Lose Weight to Help Your Kids
A bulging gut doesn’t just affect you—your kids might suffer, too. Children with obese dads were 75 percent more likely to fail a test that measured how well they’re able to interact with others, a new study in the journal Pediatrics found. And the risk grows if your partner is obese, too. Kids with two obese parents were nearly three times as likely to fail a test of problem solving. So start a diet and exercise program together—you’re more likely to successfully lose weight if your partner is making changes too, as we previously reported.

Check Out Your New Organ
Scientists have just “discovered” a new organ hanging out in your digestive system. It’s called the mesentery, and it attaches your intestine to your abdominal wall to hold everything in place. Previously, scientists thought it was a bunch of different structures, but a new review in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology now concludes that it’s actually one, continuous piece—allowing it to be considered our body’s newest organ.

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