Shun sharp objects in cleaning ears, expert warns


By Joy Mbachi
Awka, Feb. 3, 2021 Dr Chike Ofoegbu, a Consultant Ear and Throat Surgeon at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, says people must not use sharp objects in cleaning their ears saying they can disrupt normal organism balance of the ear.

Ofoegbu told newsmen in Awka on Wednesday that parents and young adults should always shun the use of any sharp objects in ear cleaning.

He suggested that finger tips could be used in severe ear discomfort in place of sharp objects.

Ofoegbu who said that the ear has three basic parts: the outer ear, the inner ear and the middle ear, then advised that people should visit ear doctors at regular intervals to avoid health challenges.

He said that the use of sharp objects such as : biro covers, pencils, match box, and cotton buds must never be encouraged to clean the ears as they could damage the ear drum.

“Use of objects such as cotton bud to clean the ears lives particles which may disrupt the movement of wax in the ear, leading to foreign bodies in the ear which can cause infections,” he said.

Ofoegbu said that the use of sharp objects is an abuse of ear care and advised that the ear needed to be cared for to avoid perforation which could lead to severe health challenges.

He said that the pains usually experienced in the ear area are signs that such ear was struggling to function and medical attention is needed to avoid damage.

Ofoegbu said that a sign of perforation by water or pus coming out or a change in colour of the ear drum indicated infection caused by migration of organisms from the nose into the ear.

“Perforation of the ear drum if unattended to, may lead to deafness or meningitis,” he said.

He said the ear remained an important organ of the body and advised that people should always visit their doctors at regular intervals to avoid hearing impairment.

Ofoegbu added that most young adults become victims of hearing impairment because they used to indulge in the use of sharp objects to clean their ears.

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