Could your earphones be spreading music as well as infections?

Most people love to get lost to the outside world and soak themselves in music, especially when travelling. Helping people to log out of their immediate surroundings and the cacophony around are earphones – the wired extension of the ubiquitous cell phones.
Hear what your ear plugs have to sayHear what your ear plugs have to sayCommuters and office-goers, especially those who travel in Metros, buses and even walk to their work place office, love to use earphones that come in many shapes and colours. For teenagers and college students, it is as part of their lives.

But one thing that people often overlook is the hygiene aspect of earphones. Since the phones are constantly exposed to dust, dirt and moisture, the earphones, over a period of time, pipe in not just music, but also risks and diseases into the ears.

Pain in the ear

Prolonged use, repeated insertion and removal of earphones may irritate the temporomandibular joint located near the ear canal. This might result in soreness and pain in the ear. The foam earphones which expand inside the ear canal are often the major culprits.

Inflammation in the ear

It is always advisable to buy earphones which fit you properly. Those which don’t fit correctly may tear or irritate the skin inside the ear due to repeated adjustments. This might lead to growth of bacteria which in turn may result in infections.

Infections in the ear

Make sure to clean your earphones regularly. If not, bacteria can develop on them, especially on the earphones made of foam, leading to infections in the ear. In case of infections do visit the doctor and discontinue the use of earphones.

Impact on ear wax

According to a health resource website from Columbia University, ear wax drains from your ears daily, though it is inconspicuous. Therefore, frequent and prolonged use of earphones can hamper the movement of ear wax and there might be side effects like tinnitus, hearing loss, pain or infection.

Tips and precautions

  • To prevent infections, clean your ears regularly. The Columbian University website also recommends dropping two drops of olive oil into your ear canal to remove any wax build up.
  • Cleanse and disinfect your foam phones regularly. Add a few drops of anti-bacterial soap solution into a bowl of warm water, soak the earphones for a few minutes and then use a faucet to rinse out the soap thoroughly. Place the cleaned earphones on a paper towel to drain out excess water and let them dry.
  • Yet another way of cleaning the foam earphones would be to put them in the washing machine. Yes, washing machine! Place the earphones in either a nylon, lingerie bag or cloth container, wash and air dry thoroughly.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before using the earphones. Also make sure your ears are clean and dry.

Right way to use earphones

You should always be able to grab and rotate the end of your earphones. So, do not push it too far into the ear canal.

Always remove your earphones cautiously, as pulling it out harshly might damage the ear drum. It is advisable to twist the ear plug slightly while removing it.

Photograph via sxc.hu

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Could your earphones be spreading music as well as infections? is a post from: mDhil

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