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Why 'spicy food challenge' left man temporarily deaf decoded

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

Scientists have explained why eating extremely spicy food caused a video blogger to go temporarily deaf for two minutes after he participated in an online challenge to eat hot "death noddles" in Indonesia.

"The pain went all the way up to my ears to the extent where they were blocked," said the video blogger Ben Sumadiwiria.


The noodles Sumadiwiria ate were made with 100 bird's eye chilies or Thai chilies. These small, red chilies have between 100,000 and 225,000 heat units on the Scoville scale used to measure spiciness, making them 45 times hotter than a jalapeno

"I can not hear anything, man," he said in the video, shortly before dousing his head in cold running water.

"Consuming extremely high levels of capsaicin can even make the throat or mouth blister," Paul Bosland from New Mexico State University in the US told 'Live Science.'

Researchers said that the throat and ears are connected by conduits known as the Eustachian tubes, which help equalise pressure in the inner ear.

When the nose starts producing a lot of mucus it can block the Eustachian tubes, said Michael Goldrich, from Johnson University Hospital in the US.

"Then, as a response, people would feel that their hearing was down. It is the same phenomenon that makes the world sound wrapped in cotton batting when you have a bad cold," Goldrich said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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