People are being warned about a popular plant after a spike in ear traumas.
The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital is urging people to be more careful around yucca plants following at least 28 injuries since 2012.
An article published in UK journal Clinical Otolaryngology outlines the injuries, which mostly include a perforated eardrum and in a few cases, the yucca penetrated the inner ear.
“You wouldn’t think that a little pointy leaf that goes into your ear could possibly cause serious injury [but] it’s more like a fencing sword; it’s narrow enough to get right down through the ear drum,” One of the authors of the study, Professor Stephen O’Leary, said.
“Most of us were surprised when we started getting these cases through, but then we looked back and thought, hang on, this is happening a lot.
“And it can go really wrong indeed.”
Researchers aren’t exactly sure how the plant is causing injuries, however, they think it’s happening when people attempt to shield their eyes, instead turning their ear to face the plant.
Anyone experiencing dizziness after being poked in the ear with a yucca plant should seek medical attention.
But don’t let that turn you off the plant.
“The yucca plant is a nice plant and we don’t want to say it’s not,” Professor O’Leary said.
“But you might want to think about giving it a bit of a haircut – and just think about where those spiky little fronds are pointing.”