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Aural health awareness among public found to be poor, survey suggests

One in six respondents thought 'eartrumpet' was vital inner ear mechanism

Grant Bailey
Tuesday 02 April 2019 19:25

A poll of 2,000 adults has revealed how poor our ear knowledge is despite the fact 45 percent had suffered from ear conditions at some point in their lives.

Two in five respondents said they had had earache and over a third have felt the sensation of their ears being plugged with wax.

Thirty-five percent of respondents were familiar with the sound of ringing in their ears and one-fifth had experienced hearing sensitivity where sounds feel too loud or distressing to them.

Almost half could only confidently name the ear drum when asked about the anatomy of the ear, while a baffled one in six thought “the eartrumpet” was a vital mechanism in their inner ear, despite being fictitious.

Despite this, only one in five said they would consider their own knowledge on ears and ear health to be below average.

This can lead to certain health risks.

One third of those surveyed still thought it was safe to clean your ears with cotton buds, despite the potential damage they can cause to your eardrum while 20 percent had never cleaned their ears before.

“The golden rule is that you should never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear," said Dr Roger Henderson after viewing the results of the Earex survey. ‘’Your ears are very sensitive so when you put anything inside you are at risk of damaging its sensitive lining.

The ear expert added: "Cotton bud use can push wax further into the ear, impacting it and making ear problems worse. It is well known that when using headphones with a high volume for a long period of time, you risk potential damage. However, a lesser known issue is the impact of physically pushing something into your ear.

“Extensive use of in-ear headphones can act as a ‘stopper’, preventing the wax from dispelling naturally. Likewise, in just one hour of wearing bud headphones, the number of bacteria in the ear increases by 700 times.”

Additionally, few respondents realised an unhealthy diet contributes to poor ear health, and three in four of those polled were unaware smoking can have an adverse effect on your ears too

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