Friday, September 30, 2011

9 Things you didn't know about your ears

Our ears are easy to take for granted: When you re free of pain and your hearing is fine, you barely pay them any attention. But that doesn't mean there aren't best practices you should follow when it comes to your ears. In order to avoid any kind of permanent damage, it s important to be informed about everything from ear candling to the dangers of flying with a head cold. Read on to learn what you need to know about ear health.

1. Cleaning out earwax is easier than you think.

Though many of us reach for cotton swabs to remove earwax, the old adage, "Don't put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear," is actually true. "You can use cotton swabs to clean around the [outside folds] of your ears, but you should be very careful not to do what I call the 'search and destroy,' because you can inadvertently push the wax in further or you can damage the eardrum," says J. Randolph Schnitman, MD, a board-certified otolaryngologist (an ear, nose and throat specialist aka an ENT) in Beverly Hills, California. "Wax is produced by the lining of the ear canal and in normal amounts it doesn't cause a problem."

For most people, cleaning your inner ear in the shower should be more than adequate when it comes to removing excess wax. "The best thing is just to let the water go in your ear (make sure the water is warm, as cold and hot water can cause you to have vertigo), and [then tilt your head to the side] and dump it out," says Brett Levine, MD, an ENT in Torrance, California. If earwax build-up is an issue for you, Dr. Levine recommends using an over-the-counter earwax remover that, when applied as directed, will help soften the wax so it washes out easier. You can also try tilting your head to one side and adding a few drops of mineral, baby or olive oil to your ear while in the shower. Wait 1 to 2 seconds for it to dislodge and dissolve the wax, and then tilt your head in the opposite direction, so it can run out of the ear. If neither of these methods work, make an appointment to see a doctor. "Sometimes the wax is just very hard and the drops don t help make it soft. An ENT doctor can [better] see what he or she is doing [in order to] suction, scoop or grab something that isn't washing out on its own," Dr. Levine says.

2. The purpose of earwax is unknown.

Doctors don't exactly know why we have earwax, but it's generally believed to be part of the ear's self-cleaning process. Whether it helps balance the PH or has antibacterial properties, it's not known for certain. Some people don't make any wax and some people make a lot of wax, and it's not really known why," says Dr. Levine. It does have several practical purposes, however. "We should have some wax because wax is poisonous to [small] bugs when people used to sleep on the ground or on the floor, bugs couldn't get very far into their ears," explains Sheri Billing, AuD, an otologist in Wheaton, Illinois. Wax also catches dirt and debris, preventing it from entering your inner ear.

3. The bones in your ear are the three smallest in the body

You may have learned this one in grade school, but the three bones in your middle ear the malleus, incus and stapes (aka the hammer, anvil and stirrup) are the three smallest bones in your body. "They're amplifiers; they serve to translate the energy of sound waves in the air from your eardrum to your inner ear, which then triggers nerve stimulation to the brain. They also help enhance what s being heard, Dr. Levine says. Although small, they re mighty, and damage to them can be quite serious. "They can be dislocated or break. Or you can have an infection and they erode and disappear," Dr. Levine says. "If they broke, you'd have significant hearing loss, called conductive hearing loss. But they can be repaired with surgery and you can have artificial prosthesis to replace the bone." These bones can also become fixated, Dr. Levine says, which can be caused by scarring from surgery, infection or, most commonly, a disease called otosclerosis. When that happens, surgery can be done "to either remove or replace one of the bones and your hearing can be dramatically improved.

4. Candling is ineffective and dangerous.

"Ear candling" or "ear coning" is a practice in alternative medicine by which a hollow candle is lit on one end while the other end is placed in the ear in order to remove wax. "When it is subjected to Western evaluation, candling has shown itself to be absolutely ineffective; it doesn't seem to do anything," says Dr. Schnitman. Not only is there zero evidence that it actually works, but it can also be dangerous. According to the American Academy of Audiology, a survey conducted in the United Kingdom notes that otolaryngologists reported treating injuries from ear candling that included burns, ear canal occlusions, eardrum perforations and secondary ear canal infections with temporary hearing loss. In addition, in February 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers against using ear candles due to reported injuries.

5. Flying with stuffy ears can be dangerous

Flying may be commonplace these days, but it should be taken seriously especially when traveling with a head cold. According to Dr. Levine, your Eustachian tubes, which run from the middle of each ear cavity to the back of the throat, act like a pressure-release valve when you experience altitude changes on a plane. If your ears are clear, they can naturally readjust to the pressure, though swallowing or chewing gum usually helps the process along. But when the tubes are full of liquid, which sometimes occurs when you re congested due to a head cold, they can't release the pressure. If that happens, "you can rupture an ear drum," Dr. Schnitman warns. "It s the descent, when they pressurize the cabin. It causes the eardrums to implode and pinch inwards so it won't equalize the pressure and you can cause damage to your eardrum." To be safe, Dr. Schnitman recommends speaking with a doctor before you travel if you're stuffy and using a decongestant while on the aircraft. He also recommends a product called EarPlane. "It's a rubber plug that has a pressure filter so if you place it in your ear before the descent it can minimize that pressure."

6. Your ears contribute to your sense of taste.

We're not saying you can actually taste food with your ears, but they do play a role in transmitting taste signals to your brain. Dr. Levine explains that there is a branch of nerves called the chorda tympani that just happens to run through the middle ear as it connects the taste buds on the front of the tongue to the brain. Because of this, if something happens to your ear it can potentially impact your ability to perceive flavor. "Sometimes ear surgery can affect your taste from a complication; or sometimes, an infection in your ear can affect taste," says Dr. Levine.

7. Your eardrum is only three cell-layers thick

Aside from making earwax removal more difficult, there s another reason to avoid sticking things in your ear: your eardrum is extremely fragile. "There are three layers of membrane: there's a lining on the outside, there's a lining on the inside and there's a fibrous layer in the middle," Dr. Levine says. "It is probably as thin as a piece of paper or your fingernail." That's why the eardrum can be damaged so easily. Unfortunately, it also doesn't heal properly if ruptured. "The inner layer [cannot] heal; it becomes thinner and more easily broken," Dr. Levine says. "You can visualize that as a sandwich, it'd be a lot easier to pop a hole through two pieces of bread without the roast beef in there."

8. Ear pain can point to a problem elsewhere in your body.

While ear pain is often a symptom of an ear infection, sinus infection, TMJ or even earwax blockage, it can also be due to something completely unrelated to your ear. Michael Morris, MD, an ENT in private practice in Rockville, Maryland, and former faculty member at Georgetown University, notes that pain around the ear can be a symptom of a health issue occurring anywhere between the ears and the abdomen. "I've seen a patient who had a kidney tumor with ear pain. You get what's called 'referred pain.'" According to Dr. Morris, this can be caused by issues that affect the vagus nerve, which runs from your brain through your ear and continues down through the nose, throat and into your chest and abdomen. "I would strongly suggest that if someone has ear pain, make certain the doctor looks around for the cause, because he may find it's from elsewhere, he says.

9. Hairspray can have a negative effect on earwax.

If you regularly use hairspray, it could cause some uncomfortable problems in your ears. Dr. Levine explains that, because your ears are so close to your hair, when hairspray is applied, over time it can get into the ear, causing earwax that would naturally fall out to get stuck. Luckily, prevention is easy. Carefully place cotton or tissue in your ears before using hairspray to avoid getting any in the ear. "Everyone using hair products doesn't need to put cotton in their ears, it's an individualized situation," says Dr. Schnitman. "For people who are sensitive or who identify that they might be sensitive to this product, then protecting the ears is what we recommend.

Chinese man gets paid to sleep on the job

Meet the man who gets paid to sleep on the job...

Lee Jia, 27, earns 10,000 renminbi every month just to test the comfort levels at hotel rooms. For most of us sleeping at office is the stuff dreams are made of, but a Chinese man, who only sleeps during his working hours, still gets paid for it. His other activities include checking out the scent of the rooms, the cleanliness, the brand of toiletries and the type of TV programmes available. However, according to a Chinese daily, Jia finds just sleeping in hotel rooms a bit more stressful at times than one might have thought. Lee, who loves travelling, said that he is paid to observe his surroundings and then write a review of the hotel and its facilities on his blog.

"You need to be highly focused and articulate to observe every detail in order to produce a comprehensive report," Star Online quoted him as saying.

8 Things to know about Girls

Well these are 8 that a guy should understand about a girl...

1)Those who are extremely quiet. It will be hard to understand them.

2)Those who make friends with rich people only.

3)Those who talk ONLY to guys.

4)Those who can't make any decision on their own.

5)Those who are depend on others to get things done.

6)Those who are extremely bossy.

7)Those who always complain about something or the other

8)Those who compare you with others

Thursday, September 29, 2011

45 Creative and Unusual Rings

Unusual and creative rings designs from all over the world that will spice up your jewelry collection and makes you feel unique...

Growing Ring
Beautiful nature inspired ring designed by Hafsteinn Juliusson.

Double Band Ring
Handmade sterling silver ring with a hand brushed hammered finish.

Barcode Rings
Creative barcode rings collection by Pippa Knowles jewellery.

Hidden Diamond Ring
With a gentle yet firm outward pull from both sides, the ring opens to reveal the diamond.

Gold Ring Watch
It is a gold watch, ring, and necklace all in one. Beautiful design made for the fans of gold engagement rings.

Sushi Ring
Bento jewelry by Carolyn Tille features realistic pieces of sushi.

Soap Ring
Unique rings designed by Nancy Wu disappear when they are used.

Periodic Table Rings
Clever periodic rings from ITSNONAME are available in silver, gold, and platinum. Platinum wedding rings feature corresponding metal’s atomic number and weight.

Ethernet Rings
Cat 5 compliant wedding rings set, each ring is made to order.

Meringue Rings
Designed to look just like a little meringue by German designer Tanja Hartmannby.

Cocktail Glass Ring
Unique ring designed by Frida Jeppsson for the Bombay Sapphire Designer Glass Awards.

Ring Sight
Now you can increase your “handgun” aim with a ring sight.

Zip Tie Ring
Contemporary sterling silver zip tie ring comes with matte finish.

Binary Ring
Custom made binary wedding ring. The inscription reads: 01001010 01010011.

Book Ring
Unusual ring design by Ana Cardim looks like a miniature book.

Hot Coffee Ring
Unusual sterling silver ring designed for tea and coffee lovers.

Photo Frame Ring
Miniature scale picture frame that you can wear on your finger.

Kiss Ring
Creative ring designed by Nicholas Hoare and Chloe McCormick.

Bird’s Nest Ring
Handcrafted nest ring made out of Bronze colored copper wire.

Bottle Opener Ring
This awesome finger ring doubles as a handy beer bottle opener.

Deer Head Ring
3D printed Deer Hunter Redux ring designed by Bits to Atoms.

Till Death do us Part Ring
Why have one engagement ring when you can have four?

Square Ring

Money Ring
Sophie Kemp transformed one dollar bill into unique origami ring.

Wire Rings
Creative hand-knotted rings made out of reclaimed electrical wire.

Watch Movement Ring
Mechanical ring created out of recycled parts from old watches.

Teacup Ring
Life is an endless tea party with this amazing miniature teacup ring.

Guillotine Ring

Nut and Bolt Rings
Clever rings created out of gold plated brass by Kiley Granberg.

Wings Ring

Triple Ring
Oxidized silver ring comes with three inverted white diamonds.

Handcuffs Ring
Unique two finger ring by Natalie Hirsh looks like a pair of handcuffs.

Inner Message Ring
Ring with letters on the inside that leave a message on the finger.

Crayon Rings
Amazing crayon inspired rings designed by Timothy Liles.

Moustache Ring
This fake moustache ring will be useful in all kinds of situations.

Wooden Ring
Beautiful earth-friendly ring perfect for a wedding or engagement.

Plug and Socket Rings
Creative modern rings made from recycled silver by Casey Perez.

Love Ring
Awesome ring designed by Chutapat Wittaya from Thailand.

Wave Ring
Ring with ocean waves in contrasting white and yellow gold.

Gear Ring
Ring with gears that turn in unison when the outer rims are spun.

Level Ring

Camera Ring
Hot shot camera ring designed for the fans of photography.

Cushion Ring
Pilo-Pilo is a creative ring with a mini pillow attached to it.

Projector Ring
When light passes through the ring, it projects a series of photos.


Pac-Man Ring
Creative series of four rings inspired by the popular Pac-Man game.