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Health warning for silicone tip users - especially the deep and the flanged

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

It's tempting to carefully clean tips and keep them going forever, but

 

 

 

Quote:

http://evolver.fm/2012/03/20/when-earbuds-attack-a-cautionary-tale-with-a-horrifying-photo/

 

 

I’m ashamed to admit that it took me until Sunday to suspect what now seems to have been obvious: The missing section of earbud was lodged in my ear canal, thus the “earache.” Duh.

In my defense, I just couldn’t believe it was in my ear because I could hear just fine. And I wasn’t in that much pain, at least not all the time. I asked my “diary” (a.k.a. hundreds of Facebook friends) if such a thing was possible: Could I really have a piece of rubber lodged in my ear and not really notice it? Friends and relatives unanimously suggested that I seek medical attention. One friend said he’s nearly deaf in one ear, due to not dealing with an ear injury hastily enough.

...the attending nurse spotted the offending earbud tip stuck firmly in my left ear canal. Doing something about it was another matter entirely. Three times, she tried to dig it out with tweezers, causing no small amount of discomfort. Three times, she failed, before the emergency room sent me home with a note suggesting I see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat specialist) as soon as possible.

...According to Dr. Sperling, who also uses Etymotic earbuds and recommends their in-ear hearing protectors, he sees plenty of cases just like mine. Indeed, three of my friends have had this happen to them too. It’s nowhere near as uncommon as I’d thought.

“Earbuds, hearing aids, and anything with a rubber tip” can become dislodged and stay in the ear, he said, requiring skilled medical intervention (i.e. preferably not by the general nurse practitioner in the ER). Sperling also said heat and moisture inside the ear can fatigue rubber faster than we might imagine, so we should replace the rubber tips on our in-ear earbuds more frequently than most of us probably do. That should help ensure that the tips don’t, you know, leave part of themselves in our ears.

 

I really don't want to imagine what the bill could be for this if you live in the US and have the wrong health insurance. Anyway, I don't use my HF5s much, but I'm ordering new tips for them.

post #2 of 16

Yikes! That's a scary thought. I've gotten both Ety triflanges and long Complys stuck in my ear, but was able to get them out quickly as they weren't lodged too deep (a scary couple of minutes it was though). Never imagined it could happen without one noticing, however.

post #3 of 16

A great excuse to go for customs :D

post #4 of 16

If they get stuck, you get tweezers.

 

If they wear out, you buy new ones.

 

None of this is shocking or scary.

post #5 of 16

Yet another reason to go for customs!

post #6 of 16

Not sure if marketing approach to sell more tips or actual advice...

 

In all seriousness, this is quite a serious matter. Be careful with tip rolling. Just because another tip fits on your IEM, it doesn't ensure a 100% fit all the time. I've met a couple tip modders that have tiny Sony Hybrid tips stuck deep in their canal causing bleeding... Don't be that guy.

post #7 of 16

i've had whole tips come off in my ear and get stuck way in there.   so deep you couldnt even see it.  i dug them out with tweezers, but it can be pretty difficult, and scary

post #8 of 16

That's crazy but I don't understand how you wouldn't notice something like that right away.  I've had the bi-flange tips from the SM3 come off in my ear and I could feel it let alone see it wasn't on the IEM its self anymore but its easy to takeout with your fingers.  

 

You want to hear crazy, I was just watching TV and had my window open because of the cool night and a good sized little bug (oxymoron) went straight in my ear and I could feel it buzzing around which was creepy.  I asked my pops to look in there and see if he could see it and he couldn't at first but then with a flashlight saw it.  He was going to use tweezers to get but I said I'm going to put water in my ear and flush it out which thankfully worked.  It was probably about a half inch which to me is a good size especially for a bug that's in your ear.

post #9 of 16

I've experienced the same with my SM3 and I thought it was only me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Techno Kid View Post

That's crazy but I don't understand how you wouldn't notice something like that right away.  I've had the bi-flange tips from the SM3 come off in my ear and I could feel it let alone see it wasn't on the IEM its self anymore but its easy to takeout with your fingers.  

 

You want to hear crazy, I was just watching TV and had my window open because of the cool night and a good sized little bug (oxymoron) went straight in my ear and I could feel it buzzing around which was creepy.  I asked my pops to look in there and see if he could see it and he couldn't at first but then with a flashlight saw it.  He was going to use tweezers to get but I said I'm going to put water in my ear and flush it out which thankfully worked.  It was probably about a half inch which to me is a good size especially for a bug that's in your ear.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatmanSize48 View Post

A great excuse to go for customs :D

A good point: I'd forgotten that customs are made of a hard plastic.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundstige View Post

If they get stuck, you get tweezers.

 

 

I think you missed the point. Multiply:

 

- The tip broke off

 

- A nurse couldn't get the tip out using tweezers

 

- An ENT specialist had to retrieve the thing and says this happens a lot

 

Yes, you can certainly get a whole tip out of your ear if it slides off your Etys when you withdraw them: well done! But if a fragment of silicone in the inner ear that a nurse can't get? No; you are being silly. Unless you really can remove small objects from your own inner ear when a nurse can't  - in which case, kudos, you big freak!


Edited by scuttle - 2/19/13 at 7:06am
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techno Kid View Post
It was probably about a half inch which to me is a good size especially for a bug that's in your ear.

 

Who can possibly disagree with this statement???

post #13 of 16

This happened to me once, it was because I was using large tip and the seal was so tight it stayed in my ears. Ever since then, I started using bit smaller tips.

post #14 of 16

i use the larger tips purposely because I have had the tips slide off and lodge in my ear and one time I also had to go to the doctor because the small tip had pushed in far enough that I couldnt reach it...the large tips if they should come off in my ear are easy to extract!

post #15 of 16
My two cents: I have also had several different tips stuck in my brain and through trial and error I've discovered a quick removal technique involving no sharp instruments. Eyebrow brush. If you're married/have a chick, they definitely have one, if not your local drug store for a buck. The handle of the brush is plastic, rounded on the end, and will fit inside the center of any tip. Gentle insert through the center of the jammed in tip, apply slight pressure (like you're prying it) and out it pops. Just food for thought.
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