A Medical Consultant, Dr Saheed Nasiru, on Thursday cautioned against unnecessary insertion of objects into the ear in the guise of cleaning, saying that it could lead to rupturing of the eardrum.
Nasiru, who works with the National Ear Care Centre in Kaduna, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
He said that inserting objects into the ear like cotton swab, fingernails or pencil could scratch the ear canal or cause a tear or hole in the eardrum, called ruptured eardrum.
He said: “Inserting objects in your ears for reasons of itchiness, to reduce pains, improve hearing, soothing for cosmetic appeal and having them stuck inside can be dangerous.
“It can lead to hearing loss, bleeding, infection and even damage to the eardrum.
“Be careful not to push it in deeper and don’t poke at the ear or try to remove the object by force.
“Regular bathing should be enough to keep earwax at normal levels.”
He said that listening to loud music could also cause ear damage.
He said: “Even listening to loud music can cause ear damage, which can affect hearing and balance.”
The Ear specialist added that direct blows to the ear or head could also affect the ear.
According to him, because of the risk of introducing infection, the ear should not be cleaned out and must be kept dry by preventing water from entering the ear canal.
He said that trouble hearing when there is background noise, difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds or music notes, hearing only certain or muffled sounds are all symptoms of hearing loss.
He said: “Turn down the volume when listening to music, especially while wearing headphones or riding in the car. Also look for portable media or music players with volume limiters.
“Wear ear protection at concerts, especially when sitting near the stage or speakers, mowing the lawn or using machinery or playing a loud instrument.”
According to him, a slap on the ear can also cause damage to the eardrum.
He said: “Slapping an ear does cause a build-up of pressure. Enough pressure can damage the eardrum.
“Also constant slapping can injure the outer ear. The ear swells, cells are constantly inflamed and in time the ear can become misshapen.”