Royal Navy veteran Wallace Lee thought he would go deaf. His hearing had been deteriorating in recent years, a phenomenon he attributed to his career in the aeronautics industry and old rugby injuries. Equipped with a homemade endoscopy kit, he ended up exploring his ear canal himself and saw a white object in the background. A few days later, an ENT surgeon extracted a piece of earphone from his ear!
The fog that had been in my head for all these years disappeared instantly. It was such a relief… It was like hearing correctly for the first time, the veteran told our colleagues at the BBC (source 1).
An earphone tip stuck for almost 5 years
The veteran had however tried several times to clean his ears, and said to himself “at the end of the line”. However, he was very surprised by this discovery, as was his surgeon. “The doctor first tried to aspirate her… But since the foreign body had been there for a long time because of the accumulation of earwax, it did not want to move at all”, explains Wallace Lee. And to continue: “so he took these miniature forceps which he introduced into my ear canal through another tube… I could feel it pulling, and all of a sudden it popped“.
According to the Briton, the piece of earphone would have lodged in his ear during a plane trip, five years ago. “I was visiting my family in Australia, I bought these small earplugs in which you can insert different accessories, depending on the noise that we want to eliminate in the plane” he indicated. And to conclude: “one of these small bits had lodged there and it has remained there since”.
Contacted by BBC, the ENT surgeon who performed the extraction, Neil De Zoysa, confirms that examining our own ears at home is not really dangerous. On the other hand, if you find a foreign body, better to contact a doctor to extract itat the risk of causing many complications, such as infections.