Apparently I’ve gained the reputation amongst theBERRY editors as being the only person here who can watch all the most disgusting body-related things the internet has to offer, and I’m fine with that. Even theCHIVE editors send me things they think I’ll enjoy that they just can’t quite stomach. I will say that there have been a few things I’ve drawn the line at (nothing comes to mind right now), but this is not one of them.
Mr. Neel Raithatha is an Audiologist based in the UK. His YouTube channel has racked up a whopping 23 million views and almost 300 videos to his name.
According to a video on his page:
Ear wax removal is necessary when ear wax build up becomes impacted. Symptoms causes by earwax blockage include: earache (otalgia), conductive hearing loss, blocked ear, tinnitus, itchiness and irritation, occlusion etc.
This particular ear wax removal was performed on someone who regularly suffers from a blocked ear. The procedure is called Endoscopic Ear Microsuction, where a tiny camera and gentle suction machine are used to see and remove the blockage.
And that’s not even his most watched video! If you can handle more, this one has over 2 million views alone, and is the process of removing earwax so deeply impacted it caused an infection.
OOOh, that suctioned clump around the 2:00 minute mark sent chills down my spine.
In the description for the video, Mr. Raithatha says:
The client attended with extremely impacted blocked ear wax in his right ear. There was also olfactory evidence of an ear infection prior to performing endoscopic ear microsuction.
“Olfactory evidence?” Like it smelled?? Oh my gosh, my spider senses are tingling with curiosity as to what that scent could possibly be. But just imagine what this must feel like. The pain of an infection, the discomfort of having a sensitive area scraped and suctioned, and then the insane relief of actually being able to hear a little clearer. The whole ear canal was so completely blocked with wax a doctor would probably have a hard time seeing the eardrum to be able to diagnose an infection.
Additionally, Mr. Raithatha describes the fallout of leaving this ear untended to for so long:
After the ear wax was removed, there was some infected debris/dead skin present in the anterior recess, which I suctioned using a Fine End. In addition, I peeled a thin layer of dead skin of the clients bulging eardrum.
The client was suffering from suspected acute otitis media with effusion (Glue Ear). The viscous fluid was causing the eardrum to bulge outwards in dramatic fashion.The bulge can be seen to ‘wobble’ when I delicately lifted the dead skin off of it. Below the bulge, the yellow fluid (effusion) can be visible and seen to move also.
Hopefully this person went straight to a doctor and got a healthy dose of antibiotics!
If viewing these videos has you itching to clean your ears out, STOP! Ears are self-cleaning. That’s right, ear wax has antibacterial properties, and helps to lubricate and protect your ears by keeping out dirt and dust that could potentially irritate this sensitive area.
But if you do feel like your ears are backed up, keep the Q-tips and other little items out of the canal – you could actually push the wax deeper into the ear and cause a blockage. Instead, use a warm, damp washcloth to gently clean the outside of your ear. You can also put a couple of drops of baby oil or mineral oil into your ear by laying on your side, and letting it soak for about 10 minutes to soften the wax. Then let it drain or rinse it out.
Best practice is to let your doctor do the work for you.