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Video: Audiologist says cotton buds should be illegal

Audiologist Paul Vella has warned against the use of cotton buds when a person cleans the ears due to the risk of scratching the canal that leads to the brain, with more far reaching consequences.

Speaking during a TVM interview, Vella said that one in every four Maltese is having hearing problems without knowing.

Asked about the use of cotton buds, he questions why these are not illegal because of the damage they cause to ears. “When I once asked why they are not illegal, the answer was that they are supposed to be used as eye make-up remover and not for ears”, the audiologist stated.

He added that if a person cleans the outside of the ear, the best thing is to use a towel and to clean with the finger only what comes out of the ear. “Although many persons tell you that they clean their ears, in reality they do slight cleaning and push the rest inside”.

He warned that a person may scratch the ear’s canal with the consequence of having a serious infection. He said that the bones around the canal are very soft, with only a few milimetres away from the brain.

The ear specialist mentioned cases of persons pressing hard on the bones with cotton buds, with the brain becoming visible. “The consequence is of great chances of a meningitis and other disease, such as head infections”, Vella said while appealing to people to take care of their hearing.