TOP FIVE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULDN’T USE EAR BUDS
Dr Jay Jindal Au.D. FSHAA, Consultant Audiologist
In a survey in South East England, it was found that an alarming 68% people were using cotton buds in their ears, with 76% of users using them at least weekly, if not more frequently. The primary reason (96%) given for using cotton buds was to remove earwax. When you try to clean the earwax with earbuds, it can be more harmful than not. Here are the top reasons why it is not a great idea:
WHAT IS THE HARM
- In the 30 years leading to 2010, more than 260,000 children visited US emergency department due to injuries related to use of cotton buds. Around 55% of them had either a hole in the eardrum or foreign body sensation. (Ameen et al, 2017)
- Here’s a more dramatic illustration of how cotton buds can not only be harmful for ear but also, damage your brains. Here’s a young 31 year old man who used cotton bud in his ear that got stuck inside without his knowledge, causing serious damage in the bones around the ear. Of course the ear is only separated from the brain by a very thin bone and the infection reached the part of the brain just above the ear. (Charlton and Rejali, 2019) A bit of cotton left in the ear may sound harmless, but in this case, it wreaked havoc
- There are numerous others and personal examples that I have from my own clinic, where earbuds have done much more damage than good. From my last 20 ears of professional experience I can clinically confirm that there is no wisdom in poking your ears whatsoever. In fact, the boxes of earbuds do come with a warning NOT to use them in the ears.
Therefore, do not put anything in the ear- nothing smaller than your elbow-goes the old adage. Yes, this includes hairpins, tweezers, straws, paper clips, pen, pencils and every other inanimate object that you use to clean your ears. I do hope you have not seen the disgusting video of a London official cleaning the ear with their glasses and then licking it. I should soon write another post on why you shouldn’t eat your earwax, I guess.
Until then, see more information here-What to do if you have earwax or itchy ears
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