man having sore ears

The Dirty Little Secret in Your Ear


Wireless earphones such as Airpods have become the new must-have accessory in the last year. You probably have a pair yourself. You use it at home, during commutes, and at work without having to deal with any tangled cords.

Sometimes, you may even swap your or others’ earphones to listen to favorite songs or podcasts. Little do you know, however, an infection may have developed in your ear that would need treatment in a plastic surgery clinic here in Denver.

Earwax Sticks

As horrific it may seem, your Airpods or earphones may be dirtier than you think. These accessories usually enter your ear canal to some degree. In your ear canal, of course, you have earwax. You may be cleaning out the earwax often, but some still remain and stick to your earphones.

Particles Attach

Aside from earwax, your ears also welcome other minuscule particles that you get from everyday life. These include dust, dirt, pollution and lint. Together, they create a snug environment for bacteria, even fungi, to grow.

Prolonged Use

With all the activities you do in the day, you likely wear your earphones for hours on end. The kind of earphones you use most likely seal your ear off to outside noise too. In such conditions, plus the types and amount of debris your earphones accumulate, you can develop an ear infection.

Signs of Infection

An infection in your ear caused by bacteria may affect your middle ear, diminishing your ability to hear. You will also experience other symptoms if your ear is infected, such as ear pain and fluid discharges. Although not an instance for panic, such a condition entails a visit to the doctor.

doctor checking woman's ears

Treat Your Ears

Other factors may cause ear infections, but in any case, as long as you have an infection, a plastic surgery clinic can help. The doctor will check what could be causing your symptoms and prescribe the appropriate medication.

The doctor may also recommend surgery if you need it; some ear infections can do significant damage to the little parts of your ear, severely affecting your quality of life.

Keep Your Ears Healthy

Whether through surgery or medication, your ear can bounce back from an ear infection caused by prolonged use of earphones. Now, you can work to prevent further infections. Simply clean your earphones from time to time; the internet is ripe with methods of cleaning.

At the same time, cut down on earphone use. At home, use speakers instead. At work, use traditional headphones.

Swap Your Earphones for Headphones

The last preventive measure has scientific evidence to support it too. According to a Malaysian medical study on customer service representatives, headphone use lacked any direct relation to the development of ear infections. The study examined 118 CSRs on seven-hour shifts for a month.

An Ear, Nose, and Throat Surgeon looked for signs of ear infections in the ear canal and found none. As such, you have more chances of keeping a healthy ear when you use headphones instead of earphones.

Earphones count among the wonders of modern technology, especially now that wireless pieces have become common. Despite its importance to modern life, earphones can still lead to ear infections. Thus, keep your earphones clean, and ask for medical help in case your ear does get infected.

Villa Hope Content Team

Villa Hope Content Team

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