Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Earwax is a Goddamn Miracle

So you leave it right where it is, understand?

I know this because Harvard Medical School told me. Aren't you glad that they're finally studying something worthwhile?

According to the eggheads in the ivory tower, earwax is a useful substance that serves as a natural cleanser with antibacterial and antifungal properties (and thank god, because ear fungus is the last thing I need). As it moves out of your ear, it carries all kinds of garbage away with it, and that keeps you healthy. So healthy, in fact, that you're supposed to let it do its thing without interference.

They've actually bothered to evaluate various methods of earwax removal (the winner? A few drops of liquid such as plain water, saline solution, or hydrogen peroxide, allowed to soak into the wax and drain out afterwards), and they warn people against trying too hard to remove the wax. The old standby, trying to scoop wax out with a cotton swab, is bad news, since it tends to push earwax back into the ear. That can lead to an ear canal plugged up with earwax, causing problems like earaches and infections.

Yes. Scientists were paid money to study this. Yes, I also spent time writing about it. And now the joke's on you, for spending your time reading about it. So who's the winner in all this? The ones walking away with the grant money, that's who.

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2 comments:

burning windmill said...

oh my gosh! i have been removing it! there are few things in life as satisfying as jamming a cottonbud down your ear to remove the wax...and now that pleasure has been taken away :-(

I am left with sex and beer...

Stanley! said...

Somehow, I think you'll be able to make do with sex.

Jamming inanimate objects into my own ear = meh.

Jamming me into someone else = win

;)

The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
 
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