An earful of advice on earwax removal

An earful of advice on earwax removal
An earful of advice on earwax removal

An earful of advice on earwax removal

WBEZ brings you fact-based news and information. Sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on the stories that matter.
“What’s your secret?” my friend asks me.

“Probably that I steal people’s pets and then return them for the reward money,” I reply.

“No,” he says. “I mean, what’s the secret to your easygoing, worry-free, almost criminally naive outlook on life?”

“Oh, that’s easy,” I tell him. “Every January, I get the wax professionally removed from my ears.”

It was only after this discussion that I realized how selfish I’d been, keeping this panacea to myself. And so while normally I hate to be pedantic, in the interest of making the quickly approaching 2012 a more peaceful year, in which love and respect rule the day and people actually listen to one another, I’m imploring everyone to immediately make an ear irrigation appointment at his or her local hospital.

Don’t worry about being shut out — I’ve alerted all area medical facilities to bulk up their staffs to meet the onslaught that this blog will undoubtedly cause, and I’ve personally donated my own monogrammed water-jet ear syringe to Northwestern Memorial.

So, put aside your other New Year’s resolutions until you’ve had this important procedure. In fact, you may even find that afterward, making good on your other resolutions will be effortless. Let’s say, for example, you’ve promised yourself to lose weight this year. Well, don’t you think having your doctor remove 15 pounds of earwax from your head might help?

You may be asking, what medical benefits come from having this procedure? Well, for starters, your hearing will improve exponentially. If you have your wax removed at around 5 p.m., you will likely hear shuffling noises down by your feet once you’re outside. Don’t be alarmed — that’s just the sound of ants in their rush-hour traffic. And don’t think I didn’t just hear you whisper under your breath, “That was the stupidest joke I’ve ever read.”

But, of course, the most important benefit of de-waxing is that you won’t be embarrassed when you and your lover gaze into each other’s ears. Remember, Valentine’s Day is coming up!

You’re also likely to really enjoy the procedure itself. With a water syringe, the doctor shoots body-temperature water into your ear while you hold a little basin underneath the ear. After a few squirts (during which you get a very pleasant water-swishing-around-your-brain sensation), chunks of earwax should fall into the basin. After the procedure is completed, your doctor will say, “Well, would you look at all that wax that just came out of your ear?” and you will immediately feel a great a sense of accomplishment.

Don’t let the doctor keep the earwax. He is well aware — and you should be, too — that what’s been extracted can be claimed as a tax deduction if you donate it to a not-for-profit wax museum.

Finally, many of you perhaps have been ignorantly using Q-Tips all these years, which often push the wax farther into your head and may even cause permanent ear damage. Or perhaps you have even had one of those fancy spa earwax removal treatments, where you pay a lot of money for a person to stick a candle into your ear and the only wax that’s removed is from the candle.

Neither of these methods, needless to say, will bring out the full potential of your ears and thus give you the almost overwhelming sense of bliss that currently permeates my every waking hour. Folks, what more can I say to convince you that excess earwax buildup is no joke? Please, put down the Q-Tip, pick up the phone and make your appointment. And if you neglect to, don’t, as the expression goes, come running to me with a perforated tympanic membrane!

(This piece, which I feel morally obliged to share annually, was originally written for Tribune Media Services. But the copyright is all mine!)