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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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How to remove ear wax?

Hi for the past 3-4 days my ear has been clogged. There is no pain just discomfort. I went to my pediatrician today (I m 18) and she told me there is not a lot of ear wax and no infection and that I should just use my ear drops. I m just wondering when I will feel relief because it feels the exact same and if there s something else that i could do?
Tue, 7 Jul 2015
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service.

I have reviewed your query and here is my advice. There are 2 possible reasons why you could have a sudden feeling of hearing loss. One is wax and the other is the problem in eustachian tube which connects your middle ear and throat. Wax as such can reduce the hearing in a gradual manner only when there is excessive wax which could have been picked up by your doctor if that was the case.

However, if there is not much wax, then it could be a small piece of a hard solidified wax which we call it an impacted wax. This would press against the ear drum and prevent it from vibrating when sound hits the drum. The other reason could be your eustachian tube block. If it gets blocked, then the pressure in the ear cannot be balanced with environmental pressure. This would again affect your ear small bone vibrations in response to sound waves.

Therefore the best thing I would suggest is to continue your ear drops for a week. This will bring out the non-impacted wax and will soften the impacted wax. If there is no improvement with drops, then the ENT doctor can clean the ear easily because all the impacted wax is soft now and you won’t have pain. If wax is not the problem at all, then the ENT doctor will give you some decongestant tablet which will open the block in eustachian tube. Alternatively, if the hearing loss occured after an episode of upper respiratory infection, then its most likely to be due to Eus tube block or fluid in the middle ear, both of which can be treated with tablets.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr. Jeffrey
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