EAR BUDS have become a popular tech accessory for most people.
Whether you've got them in at the gym or you use them to answer the phone – they can be a comfy alternative to cable headphones.
But the rising popularity of the ear bud has also meant an increase in nasty infections, one expert has warned.
Ear infections are pretty common, particularly in children.
Symptoms usually start quickly and can include pain inside the ear, difficulty hearting and a feeling of pressure.
Ear, nose and throat expert, Dr Elias Michaelides said many patients are experiencing issues like pain and in some cases, fluid coming out of their ears.
The one thing they all have in common, he says, is they wear ear buds on a regular basis – either for their job or whilst training at the gym.
Dr Michaelides said wearing them for prolonged periods of time could cause issues such as eczema and ear infections.
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"Wax and debris can build up on it and if it’s moist, it can lead to infections.
"I would recommend everyone takes their earbuds out for at least five minutes every hour, if using them continuously, to get some air into the ear.
"There shouldn’t be any pain or irritation after wearing them", he told NBC.
Because of the constant use of the gadget, Dr Michaelides said earbuds – and the case you store them in, should be cleaned at least once a day and regular breaks taken.
He explained you should also try different brands to get the right fit of ear bud.
Many brands create both sweat and water resistant earbuds and offer different shapes and attachments to help the user feel comfortable.
The ear infection symptoms you need to know
The NHS says that symptoms of an ear infection usually start quickly and can include:
- pain inside the ear
- high temperature
- being sick
- a lack of energy
- difficulty hearing
- discharge running out of the ear
- feeling of pressure in the ear
- itching in and around the ear
- scaly skin in and around the ear
Symptoms to look out for in children:
- pulling or rubbing the ear
- not reacting to sounds
- irritable or restless
- loss of appetite
- losing their balance
If you think you have an ear infection then you don't always have to see your GP as they usually go away within three days.
You can use pain killers such as paracetamol, or ibuprofen to ease the pain caused by earbuds.
Other remedies include placing a warm flannel on the ear and removing any discharge by wiping the ear with cotton wool.
The NHS states that you should not put anything inside your ear such as cotton buds or your finger.
You should also avoid letting water and shampoo get in your ear and avoid using products such as antihistamines – as there is no evidence they work for ear infections.
Your local pharmacist should be able to help if you have an ear infection by suggesting over the counter remedies.
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