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East African Journal of Public Health

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Attitude Of Self Ear Cleaning In Black Africans: Any Benefit?

AO Afolabi, AM Kodiya, A Bakari, BM Ahmad

Abstract


Wax removal compromises the integrity of the ear's defenses. It is a leading cause of otitis externa, Otomycosis and impaired hearing. Aims
of the study are to assess the knowledge and implication of self ear cleaning among black Africans.
Material and methods: A prospective study carried out at the Tundun-wada community and National Ear Care Centre, Kaduna with administration of structured questionnaire after an informed consent and ethical clearance. Information retrieved includes biodata, believe, reason and object for cleaning of the ear, associated problems or benefit and examination.
Results: A total of 372 form the basis for the study, age range 1–76yr with a mean age of 30.37yr, median age 29.00 (S.D. = 13.79) and M: F
ratio of 1:1. Mother responded for their children except for grown up. About 47.3% of the subjects were unemployed who were either children or complete house wife. About 90% of the subjects interviewed do self ear cleaning and over 90% believe ear should be cleaned to remove wax, because of itching in over 50% while a few is due to cosmetic reason. Cotton bud was the commonest material used for cleaning. About one-third of the subject has formed the habit unconsciously over 10years. The entire subjects interviewed had their ear examined; about 27% had ear discharge then wax impaction in 22% then foreign body 12%.
Conclusion: The habit of self ear cleaning should be discouraged as it is slow otologic poison with an attendant long term effect.



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/eajph.v6i1.45743
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