The benefits of an Ear Spoon. I have to admit I had never heard of an “Ear Spoon” until I was shown an article in the Sunday New York Times. It may be because I have never lived, or spent any time, in the Far East. My readers who have done that may already know what I am talking about.

     I imagine that most of us, who live in the western world, have grown up with admonition that you never put anything inside your ear for fear of rupturing your eardrum. Despite that warning, we all regularly try and clean our ears with “Q tips”, ear syringes or other totally undignified, and probably equally dangerous, implements. The article reiterated your mother’s warning, “Don’t put anything in your ear except your elbow.” I wonder how many kids go to the doctor’s office with strained, or dislocated, arms resulting from trying to follow this advice?

     I therefore questioned the article’s topic of an Ear Spoon. It seems a worse idea than using your elbow, because you can actually get a spoon in your ear if it is small enough, and you are courageous or dumb enough to try. However, it turns out there is a reason for the existence of an Ear Spoon, or, at least one the article promoted. Eastern ears produce a different kind of wax than western ears……..aren’t you glad you are reading this?

     Ear spoons, ear picks, ears scoops can be made of silver, brass, plastic, bamboo or any other smooth but sturdy material, and are, apparently, common place in most Asian homes. There is even an implement made of jade in the Museum of San Francisco that serves as a hair ornament, as well as an ear scoop.

     Now for the “interesting” part. Asian ear wax apparently tends to be dry, whereas western ear wax tends to have the consistency of peanut butter…..apologies for the analogy! However, I bet you look next time!!

     The ear spoon isn’t very effective on waxy substances, which is, perhaps, why the implements, and the practice, hasn’t made much headway in the West. However, as cultural integration grows, I’m sure it will eventually form part of Western households as well.

     We all know that cleaning our ears is vaguely illicit and disgusting, and most of us wouldn’t be caught dead doing it in public. It is, however, a normal and necessary process, otherwise we will go deaf quicker than we otherwise will. I should add that most Ear Nose and Throat doctors are trained to check for excessive wax since it could have been accumulating for years!!!!!

     Now that you know there is an alternative to Q Tips, perhaps your lives will improve, and your hearing as well. The benefits of an ear spoon will soon become apparent.

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