Increased use of earphones as a result of online classes and WFH (work from home) over the past seven-eight months has led to more and more complaints of infection in the ears. Doctors have warned that this could lead to hearing difficulties among those who fail to curb the use of earphones.
A 2013 study published in the European Journal of Public Health had asserted that lifestyle choices lead to more cases of hearing impairment than age-related factors. The study had further pointed out that middle and low-income countries see more cases of hearing impairment among children, adolescents and young adults.
Head of the ENT department at the state-run JJ Hospital in Mumbai, Dr Shrinivas Chavan told news agency PTI), "All these complaints are directly linked to extensive use of headphones at higher volume."
While warning that failure to make amends could lead to "permanent damage", Dr Chavan added, "Most of them are working for more than eight hours wearing headphones. This is putting a lot of stress on their ears and unsterilised earpods or ear-plugs could spread infection."
Cleaning the wax inside the ear with a cotton bud can lead to earaches since it exposes the inner part of the ear to bacterial infections. It is the earwax that kills the bacteria and prevents infection.
Doctors such as Dr Chavan advise removing the earphones from time-to-time in order to allow fresh air to go inside the ears.
Dr Rahul Kulkarni, head of the ENT unit at Mumbai's St George Hospital told PTI, "Ideally, school children should not be using headphones at all. If they are attending classes on laptop or personal computers, then the device volume is sufficient."