Boy Develops 'Black Forest Of Fungus' After Leaving Earphones In Too Long
A boy has learned the hard way of the complications that come from wearing your earphones for too long.
This isn't a PSA about having your music playing too loud, but instead a lesson about keeping your ear canal as aerated as possible.
The 10-year-old boy had been complaining about one of his ears being itchy and uncomfortable. His mum grew suspicious and eventually took him to the Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Shunyi District in Beijing earlier this month.
Specialists had a look inside his canal and quickly noticed 'numerous black fungal growths' in the inner ear.
Ear, nose and throat specialist Wu Yuhua described the scene as a 'black forest of fungus' and diagnosed the boy with mycosis, which is the technical term for a fungal infection.
The specialist believes this was caused by the boy wearing his earphones for long periods of time.
When earphones are inserted into the ear, it can not only prevent wax from naturally falling out of the ear, but it can also lock in moisture and increase the temperature inside the canal. That's a perfect breeding ground for mould to grow.
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It certainly didn't help that the boy likes to pick his ear, which would have helped the fungal spores go from his finger to his ear. The earphones helped lock in all the bad stuff and resulted in him going to hospital.
The 10-year-old was put on a course of anti-fungal medication and has since made a full recovery.
Two years ago, experts warned that you should only wear earphones or headphones for 90 minutes a day and ensure that it never goes above 80 percent volume.
Many love to ramp up the noise as loud as possible, however researchers worry that there will be a generation of deaf people as a result.
Professor David McAlpine, director of research at the Australian Hearing Hub, told the ABC: "We are very concerned. Most people who are working or travelling are now wearing ear buds, But they don't necessarily know the sound levels they're exposing themselves to.
"When hearing damage starts, then you're really on an irreversible journey. If you don't protect your hearing, you're going to damage it for life."
The World Health Organisation predicted that one billion young people were at risk of losing their hearing due to portable audio devices.
Featured Image Credit: PA