Many people guilty of using cotton buds to clean their ears despite being told it's dangerous.
But a doctor's video showing a Q-tip lodged deep inside a man's ear canal has served as a reminder of how risky the practise is.
Neel Raithatha, a consultant audiologist and YouTube sensation known as the 'Wax Whisperer', filmed his retrieval of the cotton wool from the unidentified man's ear using tweezers.
While the man had been using the cotton bud to reach an itch inside his ear, the cotton wool had fallen away from the plastic stick and become stuck.
It was resting just by his ear drum. The area is delicate and if perforated, could lead to hearing loss.
This patient recovered unscathed. However, cotton buds can cause a range of problems, including infections, impacted earwax, and tinnitus.
Gruesome footage shows Neel Raithatha, a consultant audiologist and YouTube sensation, pull a stuck Q-tip from deep inside a man's ear canal (pictured)
Mr Raithatha used an endoscope, an instrument that can look inside the body and is usually attached to a video monitor, so he could see what's in the ear canal and film it. The video shows him gently pulling at the cotton wool and retrieve it with the tweezers
Mr Raithatha, who operates out of his clinic in Leicester, said the man was suffering with an infection and inflammation.
He said: 'He [the patient] suffers from otitis externa and was using the cotton bud in an attempt to relieve the itchiness and irritation he was experiencing.'
Mr Raithatha did not reveal what happened next, but said the man was in pain and discomfort by the time he sought help.
Earwax usually falls out on its own but, in some cases, it can become blocked.
It cannot be prevented as the wax is there to protect ears from water, dirt germs, infection and foreign bodies.
Some people are more likely to suffer buildup, for example the elderly or people who use hearing aids.
But those who use cotton buds often may also suffer with wax build up. This is because cotton buds can push the wax further into the canal, where it hardens.
Cotton buds can cause other problems, including infections, perforated ear drums, which can lead to hearing loss, and tinnitus.
In the worst cases, a bud had led to necrotising otitis externa, a bacterial infection that starts in the ear canal before