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5 year child says ear is plugged. Having ear infection and wax problem. Could the wax be causing the problem?

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My five year old daughter says that her right ear is plugged. It did hurt a little 2 days ago. No cold recently, but she has had a few ear infections the past 6 months in that same ear. She also had wax problems in that ear a few years ago. Could the wax be causing her to be plugged in that ear? Does wax cause ear infections? Any suggestions to help the plugged ear?
Thanks, XXXXXX
Posted Sat, 18 Aug 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 2 hours later
Hi

Thanks for the query

The earache in the right ear could be either due to middle ear infection or wax in the external ear. The exact diagnosis can be made only after examining the ear.

The commonest cause of earache in children is due to middle ear infection. Eustachian tube is a tube connecting nose and the ear; this is usually straight in the children compared to that of the adults. Most of the times, this tube gets blocked on exposure to cold climate, common cold, nasal infections, etc. When the tube blocks, there is negative pressure exerted in the middle ear which causes acute pain.

The second most common cause could be impacted wax. Occasionally, when taking shower or swimming, some amount of water will enter into the outer ear. If there is wax already present in the external ear, it gets swollen exerting pressure over the canal wall and thus causing pain. It is very unusual for the ear wax to cause ear infection. Please do not attempt to remove the wax using ear buds or Q-tip, the best thing to do is to consult your doctor.

Without examining the ear it is very difficult to come to a conclusion. But, for the time being you can give paracetamol syrup every 6th hourly for your child to reduce the pain.

Hope this answers your query; I will be available for the follow-up query.

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: 5 year child says ear is plugged. Having ear infection and wax problem. Could the wax be causing the problem? 2 days later
What is the best way for keeping hard wax out of the ear tube...I have read about peroxide and water and also over the counter ear softening drops. She hates anything in her ear because she had wax pulled out a couple years ago and still associates anything touching her ear with pain(even an otoscope for looking in your ear). Thanks for your comments. XXXXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 2 hours later
Hi

Thanks for writing back

Using wax solvents is the best way to soften the wax. Do not use water or hydrogen peroxide, both of them are not as effective as wax solvents. If your child is afraid of someone probing into the ear, then the best solution is wax solvents.

But, my sincere advice to you is to not use anything until you consult your doctor; it can sometimes make simple things go bad.

I wish your kid good health.

Regards
Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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