I’m a doctor… you don’t need to clean your ears or drink 8 glasses of water – here are 7 health myths you should ignore

A DOCTOR has revealed the most common health myths people can ignore – from cleaning your ears to drinking eight glasses of water a day.

Dr Sara Kayat appeared on This Morning to share the common health myths many of us believe but that aren’t actually true.

Dr Sara said it is not necessary to clean your ears


Dr Sara said it is not necessary to clean your earsCredit: Alamy
She also said you should not be trying to treat your child's fever


She also said you should not be trying to treat your child’s feverCredit: Getty

Here are the seven health myths you can ignore from now on:

Cleaning your ears

Many are aware that cleaning your ears – especially with cotton buds – could be harmful and may lead to infections or injuries.

Dr Kayat explained that we shouldn’t try to remove all the wax as it’s what captures debris.

She said: “Our ears are so beautifully self-cleaning. They’ve got these little hairs that kind of pulsate and push out the wax.

“And so you don’t need to be shoving something in there to clean it out.”

Children’s fever

Dr Sara said parents should avoid trying to treat their child’s fever.

She explained: “A fever is there as a response for our body to fight an infection, so if you reduce that fever then you may limit your body’s ability to fight it as quickly.”

She added that your main concern should be to make your child comfortable if they are feeling unwell.


The health expert said that even though verrucas are unpleasant, they don’t actually need to be treated.

She said: “As we know, our body is able to get rid of viruses by themselves. [For] some people, it might just take a couple of months. 

“For other people it can take years. If they’re really frustrating you, you can do treatments…but you don’t have to.

“They will go away by themselves eventually in most people.”

Eight glasses of water a day

Dr Sara busted the popular health myth that we need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy.

She noted the importance of staying hydrated throughout the day but branded the number eight “a completely arbitrary number” and said that the amount of water we should be receiving depends on other factors – such as the environment. 

She said: “I can’t find any evidence to say why everybody should be drinking eight glasses a day specifically”. 

Drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics

Dr Kayat explained that it is better not to drink while you’re taking antibiotics as it can affect your immune system.

But, despite common belief, most common antibiotics don’t interact with alcohol.

She said: “People worry that [the medication] will become less effective if they drink. It’s not the case.”

Cracking your joints

Many consider it a harmful – and annoying – habit, but cracking your joints is not bad for you and will not cause arthritis.

Dr Sara said: “People think it’s the joints and bones rubbing against each other that’s causing that noise, but it’s actually just a little bit of gas, a bubble of gas in between the joints.

“When [you crack your knuckles], it kind of pops out and it’s not damaging your joints.

“Obviously if you getting any pain, swelling or anything at the same time, then it can be something serious.”

Five-second rule

According to the popular “five-second rule” you are fine if you eat food dropped on the floor as long as you pick it up before five seconds pass.

Dr Sara said: “Yes, the longer [the food is on the floor], the more likely it’s going get in contact with bacteria. 

“But if it’s there for [even just] a second, it’s still likely to get some germs.”

It is not a rule that your body needs eight glasses of water a day


It is not a rule that your body needs eight glasses of water a dayCredit: Getty
Most common antibiotics don't interact with alcohol


Most common antibiotics don’t interact with alcoholCredit: Getty


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