Home Health & Wellness Experts Warn TikTok Users to Avoid Viral Ear Hacks and Tools as They Could Lead to Hearing Loss

Experts Warn TikTok Users to Avoid Viral Ear Hacks and Tools as They Could Lead to Hearing Loss

Reading Time: 3 minutes

TikTok has become renowned for its tips and hacks spanning a range of areas, but according to experts, you shouldn’t believe, or even try, everything you see on the platform.

Delving deeper into the platform and looking at the at-home hacks around ear wax removal and treating ear pain and infections, The Hearing Care Partnership looked into videos relating to “ear cleaning at home” and “at-home earwax removal”. They revealed and ranked the dangerous hacks users share on the app (with 1 being the most dangerous, and 14 being the least dangerous).

  1. Boiling water and tissue
  2. Bobby pin
  3. Ear cleaner camera
  4. Ear candle
  5. Spiral earwax tool
  6. Vix vapour rub
  7. Grapefruit seed extract
  8. Soap suds
  9. Steamed onion
  10. Reflexology
  11. Water spray
  12. Garlic oil
  13. Hydrogen peroxide
  14. Warm oil

Do not do this

Soaking tissue in a glass of boiling water and then holding the glass over your ear made up 13% of the videos that featured hacks to cure an ear infection. The experts at The Hearingcare Partnership consider this to be the most dangerous hack on the platform, and with one video having over 770,000 views alone, they urge users not to do this. Audiologist, Ashish Shah said, “This will not treat an ear infection, especially if it is affecting the middle ear. The hot steam could potentially lead to burns on the skin of the ear canal or, even worse, permanent damage to the eardrum from a burn or even a perforation. This would all be very painful, as well as leading to hearing loss.”

Avoid it; it could lead to hearing loss

Next on the list of the most dangerous hacks was the use of a bobby pin, which was used to scrape the wax out of the ear. While this method only made up 2% of the ear-cleaning hack videos, it has received over 65,000 views. Ashish warned, “This is extremely dangerous, and copying this method risks doing permanent damage to the ear canal or, even worse, the ear drum. For example, a bobby pin could cause abrasions or perforations of the tympanic membrane, which could lead to infections or, worse, hearing loss. Nothing like this should ever be put anywhere near the ear and could even cause the wax to become impacted, blocking the ear further.”

This cheap and dangerous tool does not make you a professional

Retailing for as little as £3.75, the viral TikTok bluetooth ear cleaning camera tool found itself as the third most dangerous tool on the exerts ranking. Allowing users to see inside their ear canal while using the tool to scrape out any wax. Making up 40% of all videos that showed ear cleaning tools and amassing over 1.1 million views, Ashish urges users to steer clear of this “inexpensive and accessible tool”. He said, “Just because you can see into your ear does not mean that you know what you are looking at. Ear canals come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with twists and turns, so while most are between 25 and 30mm long, you can quickly end up very close to the eardrum without realising it. Damage to the eardrum, such as perforations, is very painful and can cause hearing loss and scarring. Abrasions are another possibility, which can lead to infections if bacteria find their way into the cuts.

“There are also a lot of nerves and blood vessels that run around the ear canal, which can get very irritated when anything is put into the ear. So any home camera tool is a bad idea.”

Ashish concluded the findings by saying, “The sheer range of products, methods, and tools being utilised by TikTok creators to remove ear wax and aid infections is quite alarming. Not only do many of them have no evidence supporting their effectiveness, but a number of them could even lead to hearing loss.”

“You should never try to clear your ears yourself. The only thing that you should put into your ears is medicated olive oil, available from any pharmacy, unless you have been instructed not to put anything in your ears by a healthcare professional. Other than this, you should seek professional ear wax removal services if your ears are not doing a good enough job of removing the wax from the canal themselves.”

When it comes to ear infections and pain, these are issues that should only ever be cared for by a GP or healthcare professional. Attempting to cure them yourself at home could lead to a worsening of the infection and even additional injuries to the ear.

“While social media platforms such as TikTok hold many useful videos offering informative advice, users should do their research and check in with healthcare professionals before ever attempting anything they see online.”

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd