No, I'm not going to put up any wax pictures with this one. I think we know what the stuff looks like. Or do you? Did you know you have only one of two types? Cool.
Neither am I going to go into how the Japanese dig in their own ears with one of these, or the ears of their children, lovers, or paying clients. I won't let my J-wife at mine, because I was taught that nothing goes inside your ear lest you damage it.
I had six myringotomoies as a kid (tubes in the ear-drum to let out fluid not getting out via a blocked passage to the throat). It's a crude treatment done less now than heavy antibiotics to get at the root of the infections, but it probably kept me from deafness, even if I am down to half hearing in one ear. And Canadian doctors are obsessive to their patients to clean just the outside of the ear, or you will impact the wax, or damage the eardrum. From the point of view of malpractice insurance, the sensible thing to say. However, for whatever reason my wax does not come out of its own, and convincing a doctor to syringe it, much less use a curette, is an uphill battle. When I did Aikido I got them knocked out of my head twice on bad landings, which was embarrassing, but now my life is less violent.
In Japan, on the other hand, ask the doctor and he's happy to go in there with a mini-camera (watch on TV!) and a few types of curettes and tidy you up in a moment. Bliss.
For abroad, from Japan, I finally found a safe method that works very well, thanks to the Internet, and not the doctors:
- fill your ear with a 1:10 baking soda/water solution at body temperature
- keep it there an hour
- plug a sink and drain the ear into it
- gently use an ear bulb with body temperature water a few times
- stare in horror at what has come out of your head
- hear better
I AM NOT A DOCTOR. This means you are responsible for your own choices, and if you stick a candle in your ear, you are a credulous fuckwit.