Wayne's World

Featured image for “The Human Ear Canal”
Jun. 09, 2023

The Human Ear Canal

Wayne Staab
Why a series of posts on the human ear canal? The answer is straightforward. The human ear canal is an important structure for those who work with the hearing impaired, but also for many other specialists. It is a pathway that many frequent in identifying and resolving issues related to hearing, whether they are disability or recreational related. “Passing through
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Jun. 04, 2023

Audition and Vision – Similarities and Differences Between Hearing and Vision

Wayne Staab
Many years ago I purchased a small book titled “Some Relations Between Vision and Audition” by J. Donald Harris. It was published in 1950, and I purchased it at the publisher’s year-end book sale, where they were attempting to empty their stock of no longer moving product. I recall that I paid $1.00 for the book (which is why I
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May. 25, 2023

Earwax – Getting the Gunk Out

Wayne Staab
Note: The past several posts (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) have been dealing with earwax, or as it is most properly termed – cerumen. Below, readers will find information about dealing with earwax issues at home, as well as when it may be appropriate to seek the guidance of a professional. Early Uses of Earwax Illuminating manuscripts – In
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May. 17, 2023

Earwax and Hearing Aid Performance

Wayne Staab
Thoughts/Observations About Hearing Aids and Earwax (Cerumen) Increased Cerumen Production It is well known that individuals who have never worn hearing aids often show increased cerumen production when hearing aids are first worn.  As a result, hearing aids and earwax are part and parcel of each other, even if that is not a preferred association. This initial increase in cerumen
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May. 10, 2023

Earwax and Hearing Aids

Wayne Staab
For purposes of discussion, it is recognized that earwax (technically, cerumen) in ears is normal.  It is a naturally-produced and self-draining viscous substance.  However, at times, it can become impacted (hardened) and remains in the ear canal (Figure 1). Under these conditions, earwax and hearing aids do not go well together.  It is impacted earwax that is the primary target
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May. 03, 2023

Do You Have Hairy Ears?

Wayne Staab
Wow!  Is That Hair in Your Ears?  This discussion is not about the hairs (cilia) of the cochlea, where acoustic energy is translated into electrical energy, but about ear hair.  You know, the hairy ear growth that one sometimes notices in a person’s ears, but almost never says anything about – as if talking about it were taboo.  You can
Featured image for “Earwax: Sweat and Cerumen Glands”
Apr. 26, 2023

Earwax: Sweat and Cerumen Glands

Wayne Staab
Glands of the Skin of the Ear Canal Earwax is the result of the action of sweat and cerumen glands in the skin lining of the outer portion of the ear canal (Figure 1).  The dermis of the skin of the cartilaginous ear canal contains two exocrine glands that are involved in the production of cerumen.  Exocrine glands secrete their
Featured image for “Earwax, Odor, and Anxiety”
Apr. 19, 2023

Earwax, Odor, and Anxiety

Wayne Staab
Earwax, odor, and anxiety often go hand-in-hand.  This post discusses the relationship between them. Earwax and Body Odor Earwax is the result of sweat glands, of which there are two types: eccrine and apocrine.  Eccrine sweat glands are found throughout the skin (but not in the ear canal, although a few might be scattered over the pinna – the structure
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Apr. 08, 2023

Hearing Aid Acoustic Feedback

Wayne Staab
Acoustic feedback is well-known and continues to be a major concern for those wearing hearing aids.  This is caused by the leakage of sound from the hearing aid speaker (receiver) back to the microphone (Figure 1).  This sound wave leakage from the output back to the input produces a form of instability, resulting in an audible oscillation. In essence, amplified
Featured image for “Earwax – Current State of Knowledge”
Mar. 22, 2023

Earwax – Current State of Knowledge

Wayne Staab
So, What is Earwax? It has been called earwax, cerumen, gunk, cat earwax (Japan), and other names, not all complimentary.  It is technically called cerumen, and while often thought of as a hygienic nuisance, is far from this, actually representing one our body’s ingenious functional mechanisms, even though scientists are still not certain why we have earwax. It is the