Wallace Lee, 66, thought that his years working as a helicopter engine mechanic had finally led to hearing loss. He couldn't hear very well out of his left ear and was losing his balance. A physician examined him, noticed an abundance of ear wax and signs of infection, so put him on antibiotics. That didn't help. Finally, Lee bought himself a consumer ear endoscope and had a look for himself. Turned out there was a small white object lodged in his ear canal. From the Daily Record:
A hospital ear, nose and throat doctor removed the 1cm long plastic insert to an earbud using tweezers.
The plastic part had been there since Wallace put [earbuds] in during a flight to Australia in 2017.
He believes that when he pulled the soft rubber bud out of his ear at the end of the flight, it became detached from the plastic insert without him noticing.
"It has felt as though my head was full of cotton wool and as soon as this piece of plastic came out with a pop, I could hear perfectly again," Wallace said. "It feels like I have a new lease of life."