Doctors says removing earwax is unnecessary
Mother Nature did something nifty when she designed
the ears. They are made to be self-cleaning.
Earwax is just part of the ear's automatic system of
hygiene. It traps dust and dirt from getting deeper into the ear and
even stops gnats and the like.
Earwax is supposed to dry up, flake off and fall
without being noticed.
So why do millions of North Americans spend money to have it removed?
There are some legitimate reasons.
Some people may need professional help when wax
builds up in people who wear hearing aids or ear plugs for long periods.
It can even happen with ear-bud headphones.
Impacted earwax afflicts 5 percent of kids, 10
percent of adults and 57 percent of older patients in nursing homes.
For everyone else, if you feel the need, removing it
at home is an option if you can do it safely. That doesn't mean poking
cotton swabs or any implement into the ear, all of which may pierce the
eardrum or pack wax farther back into the ear canal.
Cotton swabs should only be used to remove wax at the
ear opening or around the outer ear. Frequent swabbing can strip
protective wax from the ear canal lining, leaving it vulnerable to
Doctors recommend softening earwax with a few drops
of mineral oil, baby oil, ear drops or hydrogen peroxide. Then allow the
loosened wax to work its way out naturally. If it needs help, try
irrigation with a bulb syringe and warm water. Or tilt your head in the
shower for a few minutes, then let the water run out. Water works as
well as a bottle of ear drops.
Health-care professionals use devices to remove
impacted earwax, but devices should never be tried at home. Over-the
counter earwax vacuums are too weak to be effective.
Using a candle to soften earwax doesn't work very
well and can set fire to the hair or drip hot candle wax on the face.
Eating an early lunch burns more calories
Neuroscientists say meal timing seems to affect
One study compares those eating lunch before 3 p.m.
to those who had lunch after 3 p.m. Early lunchers lost an average of 22
pounds in 20 weeks.
Those who ate lunch later lost about 17 pounds.
Neuroscientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital and
Harvard Medical School say the study suggests both calories and timing
have an impact on weight loss.
The research included 420 overweight and obese people
who participated in a 20-week weight-loss program in Spain.
Overall, participants consumed about 1,400 calories a
day. There was no significant difference in caloric intake or energy
expenditure between the early lunchers and the late lunchers.
The findings were reported in the International
Journal of Obesity.
Psych: v. to mentally prepare
If you've ever seen someone "fly off the handle," you
know it solved nothing and made the situation worse for both parties.
Maybe you've done it yourself.
Researchers at Duke University looked at why small
things caused people to melt down. Their findings suggest that you may
react strongly to violations of the fundamental rules of fairness.
These unwritten rules say we're not supposed to be
rude or inconsiderate. We're supposed to be polite, fair and honest.
That is: don't cut in front of someone in a line; drive safety; clean up
after yourself; and don't get irritated at customer service reps who are
trying to help you.
Because an angry outburst often makes the person who
exploded feel worse, neuroscientists at Duke give this advice.
When someone explodes at you
Apologize if you should
Don't respond or argue, move on.
Empathize and say you understand how they feel about it.
Share the story later. Customer service reps are encouraged to gather, share their horror stories and laugh.
Don't take it personally. Other people's bad behavior is about them, not you. If you are cut off in traffic, the offender is likely to cut off others as well.
When you explode at someone else
Prevent it by thinking of scenarios that will make you angry, then imagine having a calm response.
If you are prone to outbursts, ask your significant other to help you calm down. Use a password, a funny look or a hand on your arm.
Empathize. Remember when you inconvenienced someone else.
Talk yourself down. It's really not a catastrophe.
Don't react to rude behavior. If someone cuts in front of you, it's about them, not about you.