Kids can incur brain damage by shaking head to remove water from ear canal, says study

Having a child shake their head to clear water out of their ears could damage their brain, according to scientists.

#HEALTH: Water stuck inside your ear canal is probably one of the most annoying things ever. Not only does it make you feel like there’s a butterfly flapping inside your ear, but your walk sounds like a person constantly banging on the drums! And what’s the first thing we do to fix the situation? We shake our heads like a maniac.

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However, according to a study conducted by Cornell University and Virginia Tech, shaking your head to get water out of the ear canal can cause brain damage in children, reports News18.

“The critical acceleration that we obtained experimentally on glass tubes and 3D printed ear canals was around the range of 10 times the force of gravity for infant ear sizes, which could cause damage to the brain,” said Anuj Baskota, one of the researchers from Cornell University.

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According to a report by Hindustan Times, adults rarely run this risk because the acceleration is lower due to the comparatively larger diameter of their ear canals.

The reason why water gets stuck inside the ear canals is because of the surface tension of the fluid. The study also found that if fluids with lower surface tension, like vinegar or alcohol, be put inside the ear (just a few drops), then it would reduce the surface tension and will allow the water to flow out.

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Hence, the next time you find someone shaking their head to get water out of their ears, prevent them from doing so and introduce them to the alternative solution!

About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for Indianspice.co.za. It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

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