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Topic: OT: Ear care, what do you do/dont do?

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  1. #1

    OT: Ear care, what do you do/dont do?

    Hello everyone,

    This may seem like a somewhat stupid question, but being a student musician starting out on my musical journey, and knowing that ears are the most important "equipment" I own, I want to make sure to take care of them. What do you guys do to take care of your ears? I obviously know db consideration while mixing, ear plugs at concerts etc, but what else?

    For example, concerning earwax, how do you guys clean your ears? I've been reading Dr reports online and they say to NOT use Q-tips (I've been using them since I was little) though they dont give an alternative, as they say your ears are "self cleaning." However, I seem to produce much of earwax (maybe its because I use my ears often?) and wonder if "self cleaning" is good enough. I've seen recommendations of putting clean olive oil or baby oil in your ears daily. Anyone actually do this? Anyone gone to an "ear specialist" and asked them about ear care? Am I over reacting?

    Thanks in advance for your comments. I hope this isnt too weird of a question; though equipment doesnt really matter if I cant properly hear the results.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: OT: Ear care, what do you do/dont do?

    The classic story here is this:

    A man asks his doctor what to use for cleaning his ears. The doctor says, "Your elbow."

    Meaning you shouldn't be sticking q-tips in your ears.

    And not for the reason you might suspect. It's not so much that you risk damage to them, as it is that a Q-tip just impacts the wax into the ear canal.

    You should be able to find ear cleaning kits at any drugstore. They're all basically the same thing, a weak carbolic acid solution that you fill your ear with, and let it sit and loosen the wax. You then use warm water in a bulb to irrigate the ear, and to let the now liquefied wax flow out.

    Repeat over a few days, since you have not cleaned your ears in this fashion before. You'll probably have a bit of impacted wax that will take a little time to loosen up. After that, it only takes cleaning now and then. You'll probably be amazed at the result, if you've never

  3. #3
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    Re: OT: Ear care, what do you do/dont do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    The classic story here is this:

    A man asks his doctor what to use for cleaning his ears. The doctor says, "Your elbow."

    Meaning you shouldn't be sticking q-tips in your ears.

    And not for the reason you might suspect. It's not so much that you risk damage to them, as it is that a Q-tip just impacts the wax into the ear canal.

    You should be able to find ear cleaning kits at any drugstore. They're all basically the same thing, a weak carbolic acid solution that you fill your ear with, and let it sit and loosen the wax. You then use warm water in a bulb to irrigate the ear, and to let the now liquefied wax flow out.

    Repeat over a few days, since you have not cleaned your ears in this fashion before. You'll probably have a bit of impacted wax that will take a little time to loosen up. After that, it only takes cleaning now and then. You'll probably be amazed at the result, if you've never
    Last time I did that is when I consequently became addicted to foam earplugs. After cleaning my ears were so sensitive that I couldn't drive my car with out pain. Played the next few weeks of gigs with plugs in, and still use them alot 20 yrs. later. Like sunglasses for the ears....takes the edge off.

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Ear care, what do you do/dont do?

    Interesting.

    I use Q-tips all the time and always thought avoiding them is a marketing gag for ear-doctors. But ...

    Speaking of ear care, the first walk when I go to a disco is to the toilet where I get some paper and put two tiny balls of it in my ears. Nature has given us a good compressor/warning system: When the sound rings distorted in the ears it is too much.

    Hannes

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Re: OT: Ear care, what do you do/dont do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    Meaning you shouldn't be sticking q-tips in your ears.
    Q tips - or cotton buds - are addictive. One in each ear at the same time. But you shouldn't do it though.

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Ear care, what do you do/dont do?

    Cotton buds feel just great .... I'm mean really great.

    Did you know in China, there is a branch of medicine / personal care that specialise in cleaning out ears and giving the innner ear a massage?

    Its no co-incidence cotton buds are addictive.
    www.naxosradio.com
    VSL Symphonic Cube, PLAY Gold, Project SAM, Altiverb, US2400, Cubase 4

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Ear care, what do you do/dont do?

    Too late, I'm afraid. I've got tinnitus that comes from playing too loud on to large amplifiers in the 70's.
    Luckily my tinnitus isn't worse then I can live with it.
    But for all you youngsters out there: Be careful, it's nice to be able to hear birds even when your pushing 50....
    Worra
    SampleTekk

    Arf, arf, arf...

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Ear care, what do you do/dont do?

    I have been getting hearing tests quite frequently throughout my life, since I shouldn't rreally even have my hearing now. At the age of 21 I have have "tubes" 3 times, and have had ruptured my eardrums more times that I would like to remember. It is because of my ears that I can't swim.

    Seeing as how I am very anal about ear care, I have asked numerous doctors, ranging from nose, ear, and throat, to pediatricians. They have all responded, as expected, with, "DO NOT USE Qtips!", and most of them followed up with, you shouldn't have to go out of your way to clean them unless there is an unusual amount of build up, whereas you should get a wax removal kit. But even then, a small amount of doctors said that people overuse the removal kits.

    So, I hope this helps.

    Sean Beeson

  9. #9

    Re: OT: Ear care, what do you do/dont do?

    I remember the night that tinnitis struck me, and never left- I had been in a session mixing for 8 hours without a break, then went to a band rehearsal. I noticed the sound of 'crickets' in both ears driving home, and they have been my constant, unwelcome companion for 4 years.

    Here's my advice- when you feel your ears getting fatigued, STOP IMMEDIATELY! Even if it inconveniences your client.

    The good news is that you learn to live with it, but life is never the same.

  10. #10

    Re: OT: Ear care, what do you do/dont do?

    Wow! Thanks for the posts. I've never even heard of tinnitis before! Is that where the little hairs on your ears fall over and never recover? I know the ringing in the ears is when spl get too high and the hairs in your ears fall over, though most usually bounce back. Thank you for the warnings!

    Well, I'm now officially in the "no more Q-tip" group. So, for those already proud members of this club, do you clean your ears regularly, or rely on the ears to do it themselves? Do you put "baby oil in the ear" to help the wax natrually slide out, or once you stop compacting the ear wax with Q-tips, the ears really do clean themselves?

    I dont know if this is good or not, but every day in the show I purposly let a jet stream into my ear canal, in the hopes of loosing up some ear wax. Is this normal?

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