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Saturday, July 21, 2007

My neighbor's ear

My neighbor told me a story yesterday.

Once, for a period of months, he felt like there was something wrong with his ear. His hearing would occasionally cut out. Sometimes when he shook his head, he could feel something rattling around in there. A trip to the doctor yielded nothing.

Months later, with the problem still apparent, he managed to get to a doctor right when the hearing in his ear had failed. The doctor peered into the canal, and saw something. He pulled it out with a pair of tweezers.

It was the fossilized remains of the tip of a Q-tip, and it was "hard as a rock." Suddenly, my neighbor remembered cleaning his ears once when drunk. After swiping around in there for a while, he pulled the Q-tip out, sensing something was wrong.

"Huh, that's weird. This Q-tip doesn't have a tip."

He pulled out another Q-tip and continued cleaning his ear, probably pushing the tip of the first Q-tip deeper into his canal.

Now he realized why his hearing would often be worst after a shower. The cotton would get wet and swell.

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