There are more than a few studies that have proven listening to loud music can lead to permanent hearing loss. Still yet, though, young kids, teenagers, and even adults love blaring their favorite tunes through their earbuds. And while listening to music does come with a slew of benefits — enhanced mood, relaxation, etc. — when sharing your earbuds, this can lead to a whole new world of problems. From sticky ear wax to infectious bacteria, there are many reasons you shouldn't share your earbuds anymore. Even if it's with your little brother, sharing earbuds is not only gross but harmful to your health. Here's a close look at the top six reasons your earbuds should stay in your ears only.
1. You can get ear mites
You've more than likely heard of a cat or dog having ear mites. These pesky little critters live on the surface of the skin and are found in the external ear canal. And while these little mites are usually seen in animals, they can make their way into human ears, too. Let's say your best friend Bob has a fluffy little dog that he likes sleeping with every night. It just so happens that Bob's dog has ear mites and one of them crawled into into his ear last night. If you share your earbuds with Bob, there's a good chance that he's going to pass along the mites to you.
2. You can get baby cockroaches
So this reason might seem a bit far-fetched, but cockroaches in a person's ear is actually more common than having ear mites. Sure, you're not going to put an earbud in your ear if you see a cockroach on it, but what you might not see are cockroach eggs. If your friend Bob falls asleep and a cockroach crawls into his ear, he'll likely notice it and have to go to the hospital to have it removed. But in that time, the cockroach could lay eggs. When you share your buds with Bob, those eggs could stick to your ear pieces. The next time you go to use them, you very well may be left with baby cockroach eggs in your ears.
3. Ear fungus
Have you ever had an ear ache? If so, then you undoubtedly know how uncomfortable it can be. About seven percent of people who have fungus in their ears are diagnosed with having Swimmer's Ear, and yes, it can be transmitted by sharing your earbuds. So whether it be you or a friend with ear fungus, you definitely don't want to share your earbuds because you'll pass it on like the common cold.
You know all those annoying flies that bother you when you're trying to concentrate on something? Well, those flies lay eggs, and when they lay them in a warm, somewhat-moist environment, maggots will become present. How does this relate to sharing your earbuds? Let's just say that a doctor last year (2014) pulled hundreds of live maggots out of man's ear after houseflies laid eggs in his ear while he was sleeping. If you were to share your earbuds with someone who has maggots in their ears, you can bet your bottom dollar that you're going to get them in your ears, as well.
When a person has influenza, there is a good chance that he or she will develop ear infections. As you can guess, when a person with influenza uses your earbuds, this leads to a nasty case of influenza transmission to you. So unless you're interested in spreading around influenza like it's something you want everyone to have, don't share you earbuds.
6. It's just not right
Okay, okay, so maybe it's not wrong to share earbuds, but it's definitely not right, either. Think about it. Would you share someone's toothbrush? Would you wear a pair of sweaty socks that someone just took off? Of course you wouldn't. Sharing these items would only lead to sharing germs with one another. The same applies to earbuds, too.
A study conducted by India's Manipal University recently found that 93 percent of test swabs performed on people who shared earbuds came back with high levels of harmful bacteria. For those who didn't share their earbuds, only eight percent of their test swabs came back positive. Needless to say, it's evident that sharing earbuds is a fool-proof way to spread bacteria, fungus and infections. Keeping this in mind, the next time someone asks you to share your earbuds, learn how to just say no. And even if you don't share your buds, remember that the buds themselves need to be cleaned, and if possible, changed on a regular basis. Even better of an idea is to protect your buds with disposable covers