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Ear wax removal caused some bleeding, complains of ear pain, muffled hearing. Took Tylenol. Should worry ?

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Practicing since : 2001
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My preteen old son had a nurse irrigate his ear and remove a large hunk of ear wax on Monday as part of a well child visit. His ear was bleeding when she was done, but he felt better shortly thereafter. Last night he started to complain of ear pain and muffled hearing. When I looked in his ear, I saw a large scab. I gave him some tylenol before bed, and he woke up 7 hours later with more pain. I gave him more tylenol and he is resting again. I am wondering if he needs to see a doctor/specialist and if it can wait a few days or if he needs immediate help (it is Sunday so we have limited options.)
Posted Fri, 13 Jul 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 2 hours later

Thanks for the query

The earache and muffled hearing is due to blockage in the ear canal. The scab you have noticed in the ear canal could be due to either trauma to the ear drum or the auditory canal, which can be confirmed only after an ear examination.

Yes, your son needs to be examined by an ENT specialist at the earliest, in order to assess the damage and to treat accordingly. Do not worry, it is not a serious problem, this is one of the complications following ear wash. The pain will reduce once the swelling settles down. But, the main concern is about the eardrum which needs to be treated meticulously if it is traumatized.

Presuming it to be the trauma to the ear drum, you need to follow the instructions mentioned below till you consult your doctor:

1. Avoid any sort of ear drops or water into the ear
2. Continue tylenol tablets (you can give it up to 4 times a day) and ibuprofen (only if required)
3. Avoid cleaning of the ear or using cotton buds in the ear
4. Avoid blowing the nose

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

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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