Monday, February 06, 2006

Because I can never write enough about ear wax.

Q: One of my ears creates a lot of hard crumbly ear wax, and eventually I go deaf and have it suctioned out. (My doctor doesn't recommend syringing or peroxide treatments.)

Smart doctor. It is difficult, if not impossible, to irrigate away this type of wax.

I also occasionally get excruciating itching in that ear, which my doctor treats with GlaxoSmithKline Otomize.

I'm not familiar with that product. For itchy ears, I use a variety of steroid creams (see Itchy and Scratchy, below). Very important to rely upon cream, rather than scratching the itch, since scratching makes it itchier.

When I remember I drop olive oil (virgin of course - only the best!) into my ear to soften the wax. I note you suggest baby oil - would that be better?

I tell my patients: anything but motor oil. Vegetable oil and baby oil are equally acceptable.

But why does it happen - could there be some medical or parasitical cause that my doctor hasn't picked up? Or am I just getting old?

Sometimes I discover an explanation for a change in ear wax, such as ear surgery or radiation to the ear. Far more commonly, such changes remain a mystery. If it makes you feel any better, we see this sort of wax in all age groups, so it has nothing to do with age.



At 1:22 PM, Blogger Mary said...

So do you wax lyrical too?

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

You betcha, Mary.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger Krammer said...

My 3 year old son seems to have ear aches all the time and quite a bit of ear wax... Do you think there could be a connection. I found this article on Ear Infections but it didnt mention ear wax as an issue. What do you think

At 5:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More than a week ago one of my ears suddenly sounded clogged. It seems as if it's a eustacian tube problem. My doctor gave me Cipro to have on hand for a recurring sinusitus problem I get from long airplane trips. I've started using it for the ear infection. Is there any danger in doing so?

At 6:51 AM, Blogger chrism said...

I have this vile smelling earwax that has been described as sludge and will not go away. I have had it for years, it doesn't effect my hearing much, but it is really disgusting. Can somebody please tell me what to do.


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