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Molly Cule
154170.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:51 am Reply with quote

Ear cleaners are not very useful to people with moist earwax they are better for dry wax people. In Asia they were traditionally made from bamboo and even gold and silver.

Old Chinese or old European earpicks were sometimes on the oter end of toothpicks, one eld was pointy for teeth the other soft for earwax.

154175.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:56 am Reply with quote

Yes, the one I'm bidding for on e-Bay (see above) has a toothpick at the far end, which is one reason why it's such good value at £12.99.

154204.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:32 am Reply with quote

eggshaped wrote:
Hopi ear candles are used to draw wax out of one's ear.

Although, as anyone with half a brain could probably figure out, they're not very good at it. A paper published in Laryngoscope (1996 Oct; 106(10):1226-9) by Seely et al found no evidence for the candles producing "negative pressure". A limited trial of eight ears also showed "no removal of cerumen from the external auditory canal", although some people did leave with more than they came with after candle wax was deposited in their ear. The paper also mentions a survey of 122 otolaryngologists which "identified 21 ear injuries resulting from ear candle use".

They conclude:

"Ear candles have no benefit in the management of cerumen and may result in serious injury."

Though, if you're gullible enough to fall for this kind of thing, I have a website here that might interest you:

154206.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:35 am Reply with quote

Picture researchers: BBC Sport has some footage of former world darts champion, Tony David, undergoing a Hopi ear candle treatment.

154208.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:37 am Reply with quote

some people did leave with more than they came with after candle wax was deposited in their ear


154233.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:05 am Reply with quote

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you earwax picking as a fetish in Japan.

The art is called mimikaki


One of the first things that comes to mind in Japan when the subject of mimikaki comes up is that of a person with his or her head nestled atop the thighs of their significant other who is busily at work on ear wax patrol. Many men swear by the erotic nature of this experience.

Fancy looking in your own ear as you pick?

154235.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:10 am Reply with quote

To paraphrase an observation in the New Scientist, it surely can't be simply coincidental that one's little finger fits precisely into one's ear-hole.

154243.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:27 am Reply with quote

Molly, we don't want you injuring yourself with hopi candles, but I think I have a super-soaker hanging around somewhere.

We describe the off-label use of a recreational device (the Super Soaker Max-D 5000) in the alleviation of a socially emergent ear condition

brilliant, from the Canadian Medical Association

Molly Cule
154324.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:23 pm Reply with quote

I'd never thought about the little finger thing before, mine is the perfect fit, and I guess so is everyones. I like that.

Molly Cule
154466.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:00 am Reply with quote

The three tiny, delicate bones in your ear are called the Hammer, Anvil and Stirrup - this is what old anatomists thought they looked like. Latin Malleus, Incus and Stapes.

155089.  Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:07 pm Reply with quote

My bid for the earwax spoon on eBay was successful at £12.99. So it's farewell to waxy clogged ear misery for me.

155175.  Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:36 am Reply with quote

You see, I donít even eat the stuff, let alone keep a special spoon for it.

Molly Cule
155181.  Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:47 am Reply with quote

Excellent! Are you going to bring it on Monday for us all to admire?

155215.  Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:28 am Reply with quote

Doubt I'll have it by then, but hopefully Monday week.

155339.  Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:33 am Reply with quote

Fiddling with your earwax causes all sorts of irritation and infection - I should leave well alone...

I was only sceptical about the ear-noise thing because (a) I've never noticed it, and nor has anyone else, apparently, and (b) I couldn't think of a mechanism (and none was forthcoming during the meeting). This seems good, though:
...calcium ions are gradually pumped out of a cell, eventually reaching a low enough concentration that the hair cell begins to oscillate, or wiggle back and forth. These feedback oscillations open the gates to incoming calcium ions, turning the oscillation back off again. If the oscillations fail to turn off right away, that's when the ear can spontaneously generate its own sound, the researchers say.

I can't read either of the review articles linked to from that article, though. I'd like to see/hear it happening - it's surely possible to record the sound made?

I think the problem with the feedback example is that a PA system has a lot of energy going into it (from the mains), and this can make the noise. An ear doesn't have any energy going in - just the noise from the outside, so generating sounds 'as loud as dinner table conversation' seems impossible. Not to mention vanishingly rare.


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