Often, when there's itching or discomfort in your ears, it's a common practice to try and remove the dirt accumulated inside with the help of an earbud. But are earbuds a better option for cleaning your ear? In this context, there have been instances where some people have lost their hearing ability while cleaning their ear with earbuds, some have ruptured their ear and these issues have been related to ear, nose, throat (ENT) for a long time. After all, why and how do earbuds cause damage to the ear? In this context, we spoke to Audiologist Sana Zeb, an ENT specialist from Mumbai. Let's break the ice on the issue from her perspective. WHO Warns of Hearing Problems, Says 1 in 4 of the World’s Population Will Suffer From Hearing Impairment by 2050. 

The process of removing dirt using earbuds, cotton or matchsticks, etc has become very common. Sana Zeb says that using earbuds for cleaning the internal area of the ears can prove to be fatal. The ear is considered to be one of the most delicate parts of our body. When one puts the earbud inside their ear, it directly touches the tympanic membrane, commonly known as the eardrum, which, in fact, is a very delicate membrane that can burst from the pressure in your ears. The other scary aspect is that when you clean the ear with earbuds, you inadvertently push the ear wax inwards, thereby, letting the dust which collects with the dirt and other tiny particles take a solid form. These commonly in practice and unnoticed activities can not only hamper your hearing ability but also make you permanently hearing-impaired.

Our body produces wax for the protection of the ear, so that the dirt from outside, dust etc. cannot enter our ears, in the same way as the nose hair or eyelashes prevent all kinds of dirt from outside. Zeb claims that ear wax gives smoothness to the skin of your ears, so, when you remove the wax, the skin becomes dry and itchy. Contrary to ear protection, earbuds also cause infection to your ears.

Sometimes the cotton wool of cheap quality earbuds remains inside by sticking to the wax, which can lead to fungal infection inside the ear. Therefore, the things which nature has given for the protection of our own organs should remain untouched although, its cleanliness is important. Therefore, it is advised that earbuds should not be used for cleaning ears. Rather, a cotton cloth tied to the tiny finger can do the job for you without any harm.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 16, 2021 02:13 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).