Home Health & Wellness Experts Warn Against £3.75 Viral Tiktok Tool That Could Lead to Hearing Loss

Experts Warn Against £3.75 Viral Tiktok Tool That Could Lead to Hearing Loss

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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.

The Hearing Care Partnership looked into videos relating to “ear cleaning at home” and “at-home earwax removal” and was alarmed to find a dangerous tool going viral on the platform.

Retailing for as little as £3.75, the viral Bluetooth ear-cleaning camera tool accounted for 40% of all videos that showed ear-cleaning tools and amassed over 1.1 million views.

Various videos show users placing the device down into their ear canal and using the app on their phone to view inside their ears while scraping out any wax they find, seemingly oblivious to the consequences of using such a tool.

Audiologist Ashish Shah 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.”

“Damage to the eardrum, such as perforation, 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.”

Instead, Ashish recommends only one thing: cleaning your ears at home as a last resort if you are unable to get professional help.

Medicated olive oil

“There is no need to clean your ears as they are self-cleaning. Your ears will naturally move wax and dead skin out of the ear canal. It is good to have some wax in the ears as it is a protection mechanism; it helps to stop bacteria and foreign bodies from getting to the eardrum and damaging it.

“However, sometimes we will get a larger buildup of wax that our ears will struggle to get rid of, at which point the best option is to seek professional wax removal. If for any reason you are unable to do this, then the only thing that you should put into your ears is medicated olive oil, available from any pharmacy, but make sure to clear this with your GP beforehand. To use it efficiently, follow these steps:

  1. Tilt your head to the side and drop 2–3 drops into the ear, making sure to avoid touching your ear with the end of the dropper to avoid contamination.
  2. Keep your head tilted, leaving the medicated oil to work for a few minutes, before wiping any excess oil away with a clean tissue.
  3. Repeat on the other ear.
  4. Repeat these steps up to a couple of times a day until the hardened earwax appears to have softened.

“If you have persistent issues with wax buildup, then please consult your GP or seek professional wax removal.”

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