Boy Grows 'Moulds' in Ear Canal, Said To Be Due To Wearing Earphones Too Often

Boy Grows 'Moulds' in Ear Canal, Said To Be Due To Wearing Earphones Too Often

Warning: Graphic content.

There is an increased need to use screen devices especially during the Circuit Breaker where kids engage in home-based learning and entertainment. For some, these usages of screen devices are often complemented audio devices for an enhanced experience.

The frequent use of audio devices may seem harmless but as it turns out, it may be quite dangerous as seen in the case of a young boy who grew mould in his ear canal for allegedly wearing headphones for long periods of time. 

Boy Grows Mould In Ears

The 10-year-old boy from Beijing complained that he was unable to hear clearly and experienced itch in his ears.

It brought attention to his mother who then took him to Shunyi Women and Children’s Hospital for a consultation, according to Chinese news outlet, ETtoday.

Through closer inspection, the doctor found an unexpected “fluff-like fungus’ in the boy’s ears and attributed it to the possible prolonged use of in-ear headphones. 

Doing so prevented a lack of ventilation in the boy’s external ear canal and led to hot flashes, according to the doctor. 

Coupled with moisture trapped in the ears, “humidity and elevated temperatures” from the surroundings also created an optimum environment for the black mould to grow. 

Boy Grows 'Moulds' in Ear Canal, Said To Be Due To Wearing Earphones Too Often

Boy grows mould in ears after moisture was trapped from prolonged usage of earphones, according to the doctor. | Photo via ETtoday

Often Picked on Ears

It also did not help that the boy had the habit of picking his ears repeatedly, the doctor said, causing damage to the mucosal membrane and eventual fungal ear infection or Otomycosis.

Thankfully, the boy went through treatment and have been cured of the infection and mould. His hearing also returned to normal.

According to the doctor, the fungal infection usually takes about three weeks to be cured with adequate treatment. 

The doctor, however, warned that most fungal diseases are prone to relapse, hence proper care should be taken to prevent them.

Tips on Cleaning Your Child’s Ears

Some of us might think it is good to keep children’s ears clean and dry, not noticing that we could be over cleaning them.

Believe it or not, ear wax is good—as long as it does not smell funny. Its secretion is meant to keep the canal clean. 

If you would like to know how to clean your child’s ears properly and safely, here are tips based on the recommendations by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.


  • In any case of dirt found on the external ear, clean it with a soft cloth dampened with water.
  • Avoid using soap for cleaning as it will erode the wax and might expose the ear to poisonous agents.
  • Use a damp cotton ball if you are washing your baby’s ear on the inside. Avoid soap as well. Pat the ears dry after that.
Boy Grows 'Moulds' in Ear Canal, Said To Be Due To Wearing Earphones Too Often

Do not try to clean the wax off of your child’s ears. | Photo: iStock


  • DON’T poke it with your finger
  • DON’T poke it with a cotton bud
  • DON’T try cleaning with a washcloth
  • DON’T use anything sharp. Doing so risks injuring the ear. It might also push the wax further in, trapping dirt and cause infection.

Lead image from iStock and ETtoday.

ALSO READ: Things to AVOID While Cleaning Your Child’s Ears

Boy Grows 'Moulds' in Ear Canal, Said To Be Due To Wearing Earphones Too Often

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Written by

Jia Ling

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