FREQUENCY AND FACTORS OF EAR INFECTION AMONG SWIMMERS, COTTON BUD AND HEADPHONE USERS
Keywords:Cotton bud, otitis externa, swimmer's ear, headphones
Background: Ear has a self-cleansing mechanism. However, most individuals are not aware of the natural self-cleansing ear mechanism therefore, they acquire the habit of using cotton bud to clean the ear. We conducted this study to determine the complications and harmful effect with the frequent use of cotton bud, ear phone and swimming on external ear canal.
Methods: A descriptive observational study was conducted at the Outpatient Department of Dow University Hospital, OJHA campus, Karachi from December 2016 to December 2017. Information regarding head phone, cotton bud use and swimming along with ear infection side of infection, recent history of respiratory tract infection/trauma to ear canal, ear surgery and symptoms like pain, bleeding, itching, fever, hearing loss, pus discharge and whistling in ear were collected through a pre-structured questionnaire.
Results: Median age of the individuals was 36 (27-49) years. There were 243 (76.4%) males and 75 (23.6%) females. Ear infection was found in 176 (55.3%) patients. A total of 199 (62.57%) individuals used cotton buds for ear cleaning. Age (p-value 0.010), ear infection (p-value 0.011) and itching (p-value 0.003) were significantly associated with cotton bud use. Swimming status was found positive in 11 ((3.45%) individuals. Age (p-value <0.001), gender (p-value 0.011), and marital status (p-value <0.001) were significantly associated with swimming. Headphone was used by 178 (55.97%). Ear infection (p-value 0.002), itching (p-value 0.009), and hearing loss (p-value 0.007) were significantly associated with headphone use.
Conclusion: Our study confirms the association of cotton bud in the development of Otitis Externa. Nonetheless, the association between headphones and Otitis Externa need to be further assessed through larger studies.