‘Deaf’ UK man finds ear plug had been stuck there 5 years

'Deaf' UK man finds ear plug had been stuck there 5 years

A UK man has revealed how he feared he was going deaf — just to discover part of an earbud had been stuck in his ear for five years.

Former navy engineer Wallace Lee, 66, told Bournemouth News & Picture Service that he initially blamed his hearing loss on the 24 years he’d spent working next to the roar of military helicopters.

With the problem not only hurting his hearing but this balance — and golf game — Lee tried everything, including getting it checked by a doctor, who missed the buried bud because of a buildup of earwax.

At his “wits’ end,” he bought his own Bluetooth-connected endoscope — and spotted something in his left ear, but “had no idea what it was.”

His doctor could not get it out, so he ended up going to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon at a hospital near his home in Weymouth, Dorset.

Wallace Lee, 66, who said aplastic bud lodged in his ear for five years left him convinced he was actually going deaf.
Wallace Lee, 66, said it “it feels like I have a new lease of life” now he has his hearing back.
Max Willcock/BNPS

“At first the doctor tried to suction it but it was stuck too deep, so he got these miniature crocodile tweezers,” he told the local news service.

“He tugged and all of a sudden it went, ‘pop’, and I had clarity again,” he said.

The shock of instantly being able to “hear perfectly again” was then matched by the surprise of seeing the surgeon holding up the wax-covered plastic part that appears to have come free from a noise-blocking ear plug he had put in years ago.

The earbud Lee found in his ear.
Lee said he had no idea the earbud, pictured, had been stuck in his left ear for five years.
Wallace Lee/BNPS

“I hadn’t used one of those earbuds for five years,” he said, dating his mishap back to a trip to 2017 flight to Australia when he’d last used such a noise-defender device to help him sleep.

“I had no idea it had been in there,” he admitted.

Wallace Lee playing golf.
The keen golfer said he’d been at his “wits’ end,” especially because the hearing loss affected his balance and hence his golfing.
Max Willcock/BNPS

Still, “it feels like I have a new lease of life,” he said — insisting it had also instantly improved his golf, which he reckons was harmed by his hearing issues also handicapping his balance.

His wife, Jeanette, is “also very relieved as she was convinced I was going deaf,” he said.

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