An otolaryngologist, Dr. Julius Idowu has cautioned against insertion of cotton bud into the ear.
The Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon (ENT) at the Federal Medical Centre Ebute-Meta said cotton buds, feathers and other objects could affect the eardrum.
Idowu told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the items could damage the ear skin lining within the auditory meatus and a canal within the inner ear, leading to bacterial infection.
He said the sweetening sensation might lead to ear impairment as the wool on the bud could get trapped in the ear.
“Ear wax is produced naturally by our ears and the ears are self-cleansing. If you want to insert anything at all, insert your elbow; meaning that nothing should be inserted into the ear.”
Idowu noted that cotton bud has proven to disrupt the normal mechanism to which ears can cleanse itself and could further compress the wax.
The surgeon also issued a warning about listening to loud music and prolonged use of earpiece.
“The standard unit of sound, called decibel is 80 decibels, 40 hours per week (eight hours per day for five days); any decibel from 90 is dangerous to the ear,” he said.
Idowu listed other causes of impairment as drugs or chromosomal used during pregnancy, direct blows or slap to the ear, head injury and chronic ear discharge.
He advised youths, those involved in noisy jobs, and every other person to visit and ENT clinic to ensure healthy ears, nose and mouth.
The expert cited the World Health Organisation (WHO) report which estimated that more than five per cent of the world’s population were suffering from disabling earring loss.