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Impacted ear wax

Old 25th Oct 2008, 10:45
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Impacted ear wax

Seen GP who says that is what I have. I am near deaf in the ear and sometimes in pain, with sounds like, screeching cracking and leaking. My other ear is near deaf anyway so this is a real bummer.

GP says 4 days of olive oil before syringing and I was also given an Otomiser spray. In the meantime..................I wait until Monday evening for the syringe.

Fortunately, I don't fly anymore, but this is very unsettling and a bit unnerving.

Anything other advice would be helpful.
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Old 25th Oct 2008, 11:46
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Had that problem for over 40 years, get ears syringed about twice a year.

Decades ago the hot oil for four days was the initial step. Things have moved on. That treatment is vaguely victorian

Drove me nuts living in a twilight world whilst ears were bunged with oil and cotton wool.

Not UK based, but I can assure you that much more efficient removal methods are available varying from instant relief doled out by a Canadian doctor in Negril Jamaica, utilising some kind of peroxide solution, to the current method employed by my Spanish GP, which consists of 5 mins of liquid in each earhole followed by a quick squirt with a warm syringe.

Cannot believe the lump of solid crud that emerges. Like some kind of aural enema

Makes my car sound like the exaust is screwed but makes my ipod sound like something top of the range from bose
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Old 25th Oct 2008, 12:58
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Have you heard of ear candles? I have never used them but have always thought id give them a ago if I needed to because you don't have to put anything deep inside your ear canal.

They are long thin candles that are hollow in the middle, you light the end and it slowly sucks everything out without poking around, In Aussie I have seen them in most chemists and are quite common.

Might be worth trying?
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Old 25th Oct 2008, 13:47
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I syringe my ears myself, VERY gently, with luke warm water and a turkey baster, usually haveing used the softening up with olive oil or the 1% peroxide solutions available at the pharmacy first. This is NOT advice BTW!
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Old 25th Oct 2008, 14:23
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From my personal experience and others reported experience DO NOT be tempted to try that OTEX stuff advertised on TV.
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Old 25th Oct 2008, 14:26
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Ear candles - don't

There was a thread about this a while back. I believe in canada they are considering banning them. They are dangerous (hot wax vs eardrum) don't do anything ( any gunk on them is a result of the candle burning not anything drawn up) . Please avoid them

CBC Marketplace: Ear Candling
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Old 25th Oct 2008, 14:37
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Yeah was going to say, see what others have to say about the candles? I didn't think it was wax though in the traditional sense?

Of course if any doubts don't do it!
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Old 25th Oct 2008, 19:42
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Impacted ear wax

i also suffered with bad ear wax so doc sent me to hospital.I got a right roasting of the specialist as he knew straightaway thet i had been using them cotton bud things to prod around in my ears.He said they were the worst things you can ever put in your ears as alot of the cotton wool actually falls off and i had a right build up of cotton wool!!!!!His parting words after my examination have always stuck with me whenever i have the urge to prod around in my ears he said "the smallest thing you should put in your ear is your elbow"!!!!
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Old 25th Oct 2008, 19:55
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Decades ago the hot oil for four days was the initial step. Things have moved on. That treatment is vaguely victorian
Vaguely victorian it may be but it is also the best way of softening the wax. The oil should NOT be hot, but body temperature.
Not UK based, but I can assure you that much more efficient removal methods are available varying from instant relief doled out by a Canadian doctor in Negril Jamaica, utilising some kind of peroxide solution,
I've not heard of that so am reluctant to comment except to say that peroxide tends to be drying to the skin.
the current method employed by my Spanish GP, which consists of 5 mins of liquid in each earhole followed by a quick squirt with a warm syringe.
Ear syringing is no longer the preferred method in the UK (or at least in this part of the country) as it poses a risk of permanent damage to the ear drum.
Surrey Towers - Use the warm oil, it will soften the accumulated wax and it may well drain on its own. When you instill the oil plug the canal with some cottonwool coated with vaseline. The vaseline will stop the cottonwool absorbing the oil. You may also find that a little GENTLE massage applied externally will help.
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Old 25th Oct 2008, 20:05
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Thumbs up

I suffer the same problem due to having to wear earplugs, the type that you squeeze and push into the ear ( should use ear defenders i suppose).

If like me you have quite badly compacted wax then only time with the olive oil will cure it, if it isnt soft enough when youre ears are syringed it can damage the ear drum.

I usually do the oil thing for 3 to 4 days and make an appt with GP for day 4, he usually does it there and then. Painless if a somewhat strange sensation, my GP uses a handheld trigger thing with a long probe on it this is hooked up to a water tank with tepid water in, he pokes the probe down the ear and pulls the trigger, which pulses water in and flushes all the crap out, feels great afterwards.
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Old 26th Oct 2008, 14:20
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A sink full of reasonably warm water, a syringe with a decent size nozel (2-3mm), a towel for round the neck, and ten minutes gentle syringing...usually does the trick! Perfect DIY...and very therapeutic too!
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Old 26th Oct 2008, 14:37
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Smile make use of the fizzing . . . . . . . . !

utilising some kind of peroxide solution
Very true, but normal peroxide ( eg hairdressing, etc ) would probably be too strong, and might irritate the delicate skin in the external meatus.

For many years I have recommended "Exterol" drops, either for treatment or prevention of wax compaction in ears. They contain a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, which effervesces oxygen when in contact with wax. This not only softens the wax, but tends, gradually, to break little bits off too. Very often syringing is not required at all. Once the ears are clear of wax, further build-ups can be prevented or minimised by occasional use of the same drops.

Available at pharmacies ; approx 2 for an 8ml dropper bottle.
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 10:28
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That is pretty much what the canadian doc in negril used.

The sound of fizzing increased and a slight warmth was felt.
At that point he let loose with the syringe and the compacted wax was ejected with ease.

I have had my ears syringed hundreds of times, in many countries and in many different ways.

If the wax is compacted, hot oil wil not even look at it.

My hearing is perfect, I think the detractors of "syringing" are all being a bit lighweight.

It depends if you want to solve the problem or just faff around.
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 10:36
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Unhappy not to be advised . . . . . . . !

I think the detractors of "syringing" are all being a bit lightweight
That may be your view, and you are, of course, entitled to it.

In a 35 year career in General Practice I have seen numerous ears severely damaged by injudicious or inappropriate syringing.

Current ENT (otorhinolaryngology) best practice is that ear syringing is risky at the very best, and best avoided. And the annual reports of the Defence Organisations are just FULL of cases resulting from syringing !

Why risk it, when there are simpler and safer ways . . . . . . . ?
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 11:36
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Just to correct my previous post.

I have had my ears syringed around 80 times in my life not "hundreds" as previously stated.

Do you reckon I am just "one of the lucky ones" or do you reckon that you are just being a bit "overprotective"

What is your preferred effective method for the removal of compacted wax.
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 15:44
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OTEX

Hi frostbite,

Preparing for my next episode of earwax problems (had them a couple of times over the years), I invested in Otex a few months ago, but have yet to use it. You say:
From my personal experience and others reported experience DO NOT be tempted to try that OTEX stuff advertised on TV.
[Unquote]

Must admit noticing a worryingly expensive sales campaign. Could you be more specific?

Chris
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 15:46
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Unhappy an unnecessary risk . . . . . . . .

Do you reckon I am just "one of the lucky ones" or do you reckon that you are just being a bit "overprotective" ?
Definitely the former . . . . . . .

I have had my ears syringed around 80 times in my life
OK, here's a comparison to consider :

Several times in my (much) younger days I drove my car on a motorway well in excess of 100 mph. . . . . . . . Was that wise ? NO . . . . . . . Did I get away with it ? YES . . . . . . . . . Would I do it again now that I'm older and know better ? NO

The 81st time might just be the occasion on which the high pressure pencil thin jet of water rips through your tympanic membrane and totally destroys the structure of the auditory ossicles in the middle ear . . . .

Think about it . . . . . . . . .
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 16:11
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Sorry AMEandPPL, you will have to speak up, can't seem to hear you very well

Fair comment and point taken.

Thankfully it is a personal thing and each person is free to make up his own mind.

At least, I have presented the other side of the story.

Do I get a badge or a letter from the queen when I reach my 100th syringe
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 16:35
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@frostbite, what's the problem with Otex? I use it 2-3 times a year and have never had problems with it.
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 16:53
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Red face fingers crossed . . . . . . . !

when I reach my 100th syringe
. . . . . let's hope you don't mean IF you reach . . . . . .

(some of the well-documented complications CAN be life-threatening)
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