Brown recluse spider extracted from woman's ear

Allergies. A sinus infection. Neglecting to swallow often enough as the plane your riding in depends towards your final destination. A head cold. There's hundreds of reasons why your ears might be too plugged up to hear anything but the sounds of your throat taking a swallow or the beating of your heart.

Here's another fabulous cause.

From Fox 4 Kansas City:

A not so itsy, bitsy spider not found on a waterspout. Instead, doctors removed a brown recluse spider from the ear of Susie Torres.

"Gross. Why, where, what and how," she asked.

Torres, who despises the creepy, crawly arachnids, said she first noticed some discomfort in her ear Tuesday morning.

"I woke up Tuesday hearing a bunch of swooshing and water in my left ear. It was like when you went swimming and you have all of that water in your ear," Torres said.

At first, she just thought it was the effects of an allergy shot. But when she went to get her ears checked out, it turned out to be much more.

"The medical assistant came to check me out, and she`s the one who noticed it," she said.

With the help of a few tools and a bit of magic, doctors removed a dime-sized brown recluse spider from her ear.

Holy shit.

Somehow, the medical staff on duty, managed to extract the dangerous spider from Torres' head without the thing injecting her full of venom. That's fabulous news, considering the fact that the bite of a brown recluse spider can turn flesh necrotic leading to large areas around the bite needing to be amputated or, you know, death. Read the rest

Woman with medical condition can't hear "male voices"

A woman in China reportedly suffering from a rare medical condition supposedly can't hear male voices. Most hearing loss occurs at higher frequencies when the delicate hair-like stereocilia of the inner ear are damaged, but this woman has the much less common reverse-slope hearing loss (RSHL) that affects the ability to hear lower frequencies. From LiveScience:

At the hospital, Chen was treated by Dr. Lin Xiaoqing — a woman — who noted that while Chen was able to hear Xiaoqing's voice, she couldn't hear the voice of a nearby male patient "at all," according to Newsweek. Xiaoqing diagnosed Chen with reverse-slope hearing loss, a rare type of low-frequency hearing loss that likely impaired her ability to hear deep male voices....

Loss of hearing of lower-pitched sounds (which is what Chen experienced) is... less common because the bass-processing portion of the cochlea — a snail-shaped structure deep in the inner ear — is very well protected, said Jackie Clark, a clinical professor with the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, who also wasn't involved with Chen's case...

"Most studies have shown that if you catch it within 48 hours, you have the best chance for recovery," (Clark) said.

illustration: Morten Bisgaard - From the book "Tidens naturlære" 1903 by Poul la Cour Read the rest

Man's head audibly ticked like a clock

If you stood next to Sankey Flynn (1918-2001) of Greensboro, North Carolina, you might have thought he had a wristwatch in his head. An audible tick-tock sound could be heard coming from Flynn's ears about twice a second.

According to physicians, the noise came from the "spasmodic contraction of muscles in the roof of his mouth. This causes the eustachian tube, leading from the throat to the ears, to open and shut making the peculiar noise."

Clipping above from the Waynesville Mountaineer, June 1, 1950; Below, from the Somerset Daily American, Feb 26, 1951.

(via Weird Universe)

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The last of India's street ear-cleaners

India's traditional roadside ear de-waxers, called kaan saaf wallahs, are known by the red handkerchiefs on their heads. They charge around 15 cents per ear, and one ear cleaner interviewed by the LA Times says he gets about 12 customers per day. He lives in a room shared by 15 men.

The deluxe treatment can include daubs of lotion, coconut oil and a dark liquid that Mehboob described as an ayurvedic tonic, and costs 50 rupees, or 80 cents.

"That's if the ear is inflamed, or if it's really red," [Sayed Mehboob] says. "The lotions provide a soothing effect."

His method is to dip the cotton-tipped pin in hydrogen peroxide and scrape the outer ear canal before proceeding to the inner canal. An old pair of tweezers helps pick out stubborn bits of dirt and wax.

Malcolm Chapman / Shutterstock.com

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