Listening to your iPod could give you earache, scientists have warned.
Research shows that people who regularly enjoy music through headphones have thousands of times more bacteria in their ears than others.
Although the bugs are usually harmless, some, such as Staphylococcus, can cause a range of ills, from earache to potentially deadly wound infections...
'It is suggested therefore not to share earphones or to share with caution, cleaning it before giving it to or taking it from someone else.
'It is always better not to share or else to clean the earphones before sharing.'
They added that the advice also applies to plane passengers using airline-supplied headphones and may also be of relevance to hospital patients.
The study is not the first to conclude that iPods and MP3 players can damage health.
Headphones may transfer head lice, studies have shown, while it is feared more than a million Britons could go deaf because they listen to their music too loud and too long.
Some music fans have complained of 'iPod finger' - a repetitive strain injury caused simply by rotating the song selection wheel too often.
Other side effects may include: Phantom Hand Syndrome, migrating genitals, mild heart explosions, and braintooth.* — Larry, Attack Monkey, Light Reading
* Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A.