What would an ENT say about this ear wax removal tool?

I use dental floss for those.

It’s the earwigs that really git ya.

I use peroxide every few weeks. I also go to my ENT twice a year.

Oh, that’s easy, for me. I just open my eyes.

They still seem to be common here – basically devices with a plunger that look like giant hypodermic syringes that clean out ear wax with warm water. My doctor has one but insists that you soften the wax first the night before by treating it with oil or a specific softening agent. But when I went to a walk-in clinic because I had a total blockage in one ear due to wax, the doctor there used the same type of device without any pre-softening and it worked fine. The doctor also used a plastic scraper device but only to clean out a few bits near the outside of the ear. Most of the cleaning was done with water pressure.

I’m prone to wax build-up and sometimes ear blockage as a result, so for years I’ve been doing do-it-yourself treatments using a rubber syringe to squirt warm water into the ear. It usually works but one time it pushed the wax in further and just made that ear totally blocked. That’s when I went to the walk-in clinic. Works much better when someone who can see what he’s doing and knows what he’s doing does the job.

As for Q-tips, I agree with the advice never to use them in the ear. The problem being that they are likely to push some of the wax farther in and worsen the situation, not to mention the risk of puncturing the eardrum.

I have no knowledge of the tool mentioned in the OP but from the general advice and precautions I’ve read about poking things in your ears, I wouldn’t use it. A rubber bulb syringe with warm water is about as far as I’ll go down the path of home remedies.

I’d say one of the key issues with this device is that it will take a bit of time to get familiar with moving the thing around relative to what you see on screen - depending on the orientation of the camera and screen, a forward motion of your hand may translate to, say, a leftward motion on the screen, and since your ear canal is nearly exactly perpendicular to your axis of vision, it’s literally impossible to just rotate the screen to fix this dissociation.

It takes practice to get the muscle memory to properly operate a thing like this, except nobody is going to do that practice, except in reality, on their own ears.

(and worse, the correlation between movement and screen is different for each ear, and will be performed by the other hand)

The actual tool used by ENT’s to clean out earwax (“Jobson Horne”) looks an awful lot like a bobby pin on the working end.
You can buy that tool for under 50¢ (Jobson Horne Probe - JEDMED).

Well, I do not recall any Ents using mechanical devices and I know that they had no use of electricity, so I am guessing that they would not really support such devices. (Maybe that changed in the Fourth Age.)

Just because you CAN do it doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it - seems like a lot of work (and for a complete amateur) to go poking around in their ears and with a $99 camera, yet! Ooooooh how hi-tech!..Cleaning out hard wax is best left to the medical profession. Go to Urgent Care… (this reminds me of a dimwit I know who won’t get a covid vaccination for free. But is spending $$$ on professional grade n95 masks and taking some kind of anti-virus supplements for more $$$ and of course going through boxes of latex gloves, and washing the germs off clothes after work every single day. smh.)

The gadget OP is asking about looks like nothing so much as a hi-tech bobby pin. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I had a friend who woke up with an ant in his ear. Walking around like an elephant on a kettle drum. He tried washing it out by putting his head under a tap. This made the ant crazy, like an elephant on a kettle drum on cocaine.

He was only a couple of blocks from the city hospital, so he went down their in considerable distress, and they washed it out with a syringe, but by then it had stopped moving. oh, you wrote Ent…

What, candles aren’t good enough now?

That happened to me once. Funny thing is that even though - needless to say - I had never had an ant in my ear before, I immediately guessed correctly what it was. I suppose if you’d asked me before what an ant in one’s ear sounded like, I would have said “I don’t know but strongly suspect it would be nothing like you’d imagine”.

But actually, it sounded and felt exactly like what you would imagine an ant in your ear would sound like.

If you keep your ear canals completely free of wax, there’ll be nothing to impede the ant’s march toward the eardrum. I’ve washed out wax plugs before that had bugs embedded in 'em.

Like a dummy, I got The Spade, but I think I used it incorrectly. I inserted it in my right ear and it came out my left ear. And, for some odd reason, I can no longer do simple arithmetic or recognize my kids.

Use of a hammer to aid insertion - even if hardened earwax is encountered - is not advised.

The one thing I can think of that may be superior to the rubber bulb syringe I’ve typically used for warm-water cleaning is one of those plunger type devices like doctors use (like a hypodermic syringe). Amazon has a few, though fancy scrapers and other newfangled inventions seem to predominate. No thanks, not for me. The larger syringes seem to have a larger useful water capacity than my current rubber-bulb thingie, and probably have higher pressure and better directionality. When a doctor used one in the walk-in clinic I went to, he got the whole job done with a single fill of warm water. I might get the one on Amazon with a capacity of 60 ml just to keep on hand.

(They also have a professional-looking chrome-plated brass one, but it’s labeled as being “for veterinary use”. It would probably work fine, but there’s something disconcerting about cleaning out my ears with something that might possibly have been intended for cleaning out a horse’s ass.) :astonished:

I say you go old school and get a viking ear spoon

That doesn’t look like a “spoon” so much as just a plain rod, which would invariably push the ear wax further in. I hypothesize from this that sooner or later all Vikings eventually plugged up their ears and went deaf, which would account for their warlike fierceness and reputed bad tempers. It also explains why the most common word in Old Norse, “hvat”, translates to its probable lexical cognate as the English “what?”.

Back in the day, when the local medical insurance company felt comfortable giving warning examples to doctors, (even though the example might be ‘identifiable’), one of examples they gave was of a doctor who hadn’t tightened the parts of the syringe properly, and projected the tip into the ear of the patient.

The insurance company wrote: “We get several cases like this every year, and we always payout damages without dispute. There is no excuse.”

So yes, the chrome-plated brass ones aren’t used on people anymore.