Dr. Sina Joorabchi put a pretty big damper on our love affair with our AirPods this week with a TikTok video that has gone mega-viral.
Dr. Sina posted a video in which he removes a “fungus and earwax mixture.” The patient evidently wore his AirPods “constantly”.
BuzzFeed chatted with Dr. Sina, who practices otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
“Otomycosis occurs in high humidity environments, summer months, or when the ear has been traumatized by a Q-tip. Think of that wet log you lift off the grassy forest floor and notice a growth of mushrooms…it’s not so dissimilar to that,” he explained.
If you put anything in your ear for long periods of time, the humidity in your ears may rise. This can cause otomycosis.
Research shows a highly variable percentage of the population getting otomycosis due to geographic location.
“But, in general, one out of every eight outer ear infections is reported to be otomycosis,” he said.
“Earplugs run the greatest risk [for developing otomycosis]…and AirPods are not excluded to this risk, though I do think they are decently vented compared to other ‘in the ear canal’ headphones on the market.”
Dr. Sina explained how to treat otomycosis rather … bluntly.
“In order to treat it, you must first pluck the mushrooms!!!”
And then the patient uses prescription ear drops for a few weeks.
He also said that a homemade mixture using water, rubbing alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide in equal parts will help prevent otomycosis. Just plop a few drops in your ear after swimming, wearing earplugs, or lengthy earbud sessions.
“People also need to be careful about using AirPods for an extended period of time, as listening length, as well as sound intensity, can cause permanent hearing loss at any age,” Dr. Sina said.