And I learned it the hard way when I recently went deaf.
Well almost deaf, if not for a kind ENT specialist’s timely help. If he hadn’t dug into my ears and pulled out a tiny tuft of cotton, I would still be a religious user of the deceptive bunch of sticks out to mislead everyone. It was a scary revelation to say the least, when the doctor explained how my addiction to the buds could harm me beyond repair.
Yes you read that right. Addicted. I was addicted to the buds so much that a huge box of ear buds was invariably a regular item in my monthly grocery list. They had become an integral part of my everyday life. Every time I would get an itchy ear, I stopped thinking straight…as if nothing was right. I would be overpowered by an uncontrollable urge to run to the box, pull out a stick and push it in my ears until I felt calm. There was an insane pleasure that tingling of buds in the ears brought about which kept pulling me towards them and I kept getting drowned in their spell.
I kept at it without realizing that a mere tending to an itchy ear was actually having an adverse impact. Until the sounds and noises started to blank out around me.
Fortunately it wasn’t too late. The doctor treated my blocked ears and
advised commanded me to throw the box of buds out of the window!
I learnt from him how a regular usage of buds could lead to infection and permanent hearing loss. Some of us do produce excess wax which needs to be removed, but for most of us it need not be removed. Ear wax is essential to guard our ears from bacteria and water. So removing it will make the delicate skin more susceptible to infection. And pushing it with earbuds into the ear could further puncture our eardrums as well.
It’s funny and yet scary how these ear buds- no thanks to Johnson & Johnson– were constantly featured as a gift item for babies. I remember, when Namnam was born, we used to receive these gift packs and most of them would have a bunch of ear buds too tucked in a corner. I never used them on her though. Thankfully she has never been drawn to buds till date. Ironic I know, considering my addiction!
I shudder to think how potentially dangerous the buds could be if used on small kids!
Hopefully they will never be back into our house ever. I have learnt my lesson. Although I do feel the itch at times, we have managed to keep the buds far and away, thanks to the timely warning from my doctor ringing loud and clear and still echoing in my ears.