Irritated Enough To Irrigate
January 31, 2010 10:18 PM Subscribe
Ear wax-filter: I'm looking for some advice and/or tips about dealing with earwax blockage in one ear (resulting in muffled hearing) and the proper usage of at-home irrigation systems.
I've had a history of excessive earwax since I was a kid, and this issue has followed me into adulthood. When I was young, I'd have to use Debrox drops and either my pediatrician or an ENT would irrigate my ears (or the ENT would pick at them with some kind of sharp implement which HURTS, btw). When I was in college, I had my last irrigation (the most pleasant one I ever had: my pediatrician used a massive hose, but the last irrigation utilized a little squirt bottle). I was told I should use Debrox every couple of months, or as needed.
Since college, my ears would sometimes feel a little stuffed up, and my hearing would become a little muffled. I'd use the drops for about a week, and it would clear up. I'm experiencing the stuffiness and muffled hearing again. It's much more noticeable in my left ear. I've also experienced some minor seasonal congestion and sinus pressure on that side of my head. I don't believe I'm sick. I don't feel any pressure or pain in the ear. Sometimes I feel a little itchy like, you know, there's excess earwax, but I'm not getting any loose debris out of the ear. I've had no dizziness. I assume there's a relationship between the congested left ear and the congested left side of my head? If so, when the 'congestion season' ends, could my ear clear up, too?
Anyway, I have been using Debrox drops, but I only experience minor, temporary hearing improvements after using it. The next day I feel all stuffed up there, again. I bought a Murine kit that has The Bulb. This is a first for me, attempting to perform an irrigation myself at home. I just did it for the first time ever, and I haven't experienced any immediate improvements. I'd like a bit of advice before I go on. I did it with warm to lukewarm water. I was a bit squeamish, so I don't think I actually got that much water down there. I'm going to consider what I did a practice run. Exactly HOW are you supposed to use the bulb? What position should I have my head in? How many times should I squirt water down there? Should I invert my head right away (to have the water drip out immediately), or do I let the water stay down there for a bit? Should I let it spray in at full-blast or should I drip it in slowly? After I complete a proper irrigation using the bulb once, should I experience immediate results if it's going to help? If not, do I use the drops again the next day and then use the bulb immediately (do I wait 24 hours)? Or should I let go for a day or two? Seriously, if you've had success with a stubborn case, walk me through the bulbing process. The Murine box is so vague. After this first try, how many other times should I attempt to loosen and then irrigate the earwax in this ear before I see a doctor? (Or, since I have been using the drops, should I use the bulb and then use the drops immediately after the bulb??)
With the exception of ear candling, do you have any other tips? I have NOT been using Q-Tips (because I'm afraid that will impact anything that's already impacted), however, before this became an issue I was using ear plugs habitually to sleep through noisy neighbors. I stopped using them as soon as I noticed that my hearing wasn't as good. I haven't used them in a few months now.
I really would prefer to treat this at home and not have to consult a doctor. Finances (and fear) are a major issue. I've dealt with many stuffed up/muffled hearing instances just with a round of the drops and never having to see a doctor, so my first inclination isn't that I should have to see one, anyway. I was looking at Walgreen's minute clinic. Would they treat something like this? If so, how much do you think that'd cost? When should I give up and seek medical attention?
Thanks in advance!!