Cleaning with earbuds may cause infections

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Kenyan parents have been warned against using ear buds to clean the inner parts of their children’s ears as it only adds to the wax already present, which could lead to ear blockage or an infection.

“When one uses ear buds to clean their ears, it pushes the wax deep into the ear rather than clean it out,” said Dr Betty Mutio of the ear, nose and throat clinic at Nairobi Hospital. “When wax is pushed into the ear, it can lead to ear blockage or cause an ear infection.”

The best way to clean a child’s ear is by using prescribed ear drops and using a bathing or baby wipes while washing them.

“It is advisable to clean the visible part of the ear year or rather the outer ear if the ears are dirty. Ear drops helps remove wax but incase the wax builds up, it is advisable to take them to a doctor for cleaning.”

Parents should also note that ears are self cleaning and that wax does not mean that ears are dirty. Ear wax is produced by the ear therefore it has its functions.

“It helps protect the ear drum and ear canal by providing a waterproof lining for the ear, helping keep it dry and preventing germs , dirt and dust,” said Dr.Mutio.

By using an ear bud, the wax is pushed down the ear canal which will cause hearing problems for the child. But it is not only children who are likely to suffer from hearing problem also adults can suffer from the same.

“It is actually recommended that nothing including a finger should be put in one’s ear because of the risk it poses to the ear drum,” said Dr.Mutio 

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