For over a decade, I have been regularly visiting an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doc to have tubes put in my ear. Historically, they have had to be swapped out on an annual basis. If they get clogged or fall out, I eventually lose a high percentage of my hearing in my left ear. I had my regular appointment with Dr. Chau yesterday. He confirmed that the tube I've had for several years is still fully intact.

"Let's see where we are in another six months," he said.

"A quick question for you," I said. "What is the right way to clean your ears?"

"Don't," he replied immediately.

He went on to explain that if you were to take a pen and put a dot on the ear canal near the eardrum, eventually that dot would work its way out of your ear. As it turns out, as that portion of your skin grows, it works its way from inside to outside and slowly sloughs off while a new layer takes over, naturally cleaning your ear canal in the process.

I hope that I haven't overly simplified it, but essentially my terrible habit of cleaning my ears with Q-Tips does more harm than good. Heather has told me so many times over the years, but hearing from the doctor has inspired me to try to break this particular habit once and for all. 

It must be the year of breaking habits for me. Prior to going to Mexico I would only wear my glasses when driving or watching television. In Mexico, I successfully broke that habit by putting my glasses on first thing in the morning and keeping them on all day. I see so much more now.

Time to take an inventory of the next habit I can break.


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