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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest remedies for excessive wax buildup in the ear

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Sumit Bhatti

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2588 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 14 Sep 2016 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Hi,

I saw a civilian doctor who confirmed I had wax build up in my ear to the extent where he couldn't view the eardrum. He recommended using drops and booked me in 48hrs later for an appointment with a nurse. She attempted irrigation but it failed. Probably due to the short period I was give to soften the wax.

She then advised me to persist with ear drops for a week or so. 10 days later I saw a military nurse who confirm the wax has gone and my eardrum looked okay. Although it did look irritated. I still can't hear properly and I'm suffering with tittinitus. She has said stop using drops and come back in a week.

That was 48hrs ago and I'm suffering the same problems. Can you help me diagnose what's going on in my ear? Im worried about my career due to hearing loss.

Thanks, XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Otitis Externa. No cause for worry.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. This seems to be an an Otitis Externa (ear infection).

2. This is common after failed syringing/ irrigation for ear wax. Since ear wax is hygroscopic, it absorbs water an swells often causing infection. This could also be a result of the ear drops causing irritation as most ear wax dissolving drops contain turpentine.

3. The hearing loss and tinnitus is mostly due to the swelling in the ear canal and ear drum.

4. Get a PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) done.

5. This will settle down with medication. Get a prescription from an Ear Specialist who can examine the ears, rule out fungal infection, test your hearing and prescribe medication.

6. Kindly let me know the progress.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any more questions I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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