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Unread 01-07-2009, 06:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cheap Ear Wax Removal?

I'm not hard of hearing, but my husband is, and he's assigned me a task since he's pretty busy.

His ear wax is very impacted and he wants me to make an appointment with an ENT doctor to get it suctioned out. Is there any way to have this procedure done cheaply? He doesn't have insurance. I tried the CVS minute clinic but the methods they use for ear wax removal are too wimpy for the DH's solid walls of wax. He's sure that curretage and water irrigation don't work for him.

I suspect that he's going to have to take it like a man and cough up the $300 all the doctors want for a ten minute suck session. If that sounds dirty, it's because I'm bitter at the health care situation in the U.S. But that's a completely different ball of wax. Har har.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 09:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My son's pediatrician taught me, many years ago, to put a few drops of sweet oil in the ear to loosen the wax, let it set for a few minutes, and then use a Water Pik (meant for cleaning the teeth) to flush it out. The small tip is perfect for getting the pulsing water into the ear. My son used to love to have his ears flushed like this when he was a kid.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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or you could try using ear wax removal pick. It's a common tool in Asia. if he's having such a stubborn ear wax buildup.. he'll need to clean his ears with Q-tip regularly after shower or whenever it's very "wet/moisty" inside. I went for routine ear check-up and my doctor was bit puzzled because he said my ears were "too clean"... hardly any wax at all... lol

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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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or you could try using ear wax removal pick. It's a common tool in Asia

But you need to use a light touch with those, as they can cause eardrum perforation.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I can vouch for a combination of peroxide and Q-tips.

But you should not let that much ear wax build up, as stated by the OP.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I can vouch for a combination of peroxide and Q-tips.

But you should not let that much ear wax build up, as stated by the OP.
Q-Tip and other methods didn't work for him since OP's saying her husband's got very stubborn, hardened ear wax... which is gross (sorry). But yea.. combo of peroxide and Q-tips are good.. it reduces the ear itchiness
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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But you need to use a light touch with those, as they can cause eardrum perforation.
yup. definitely. BE CAREFUL! My mom used desk lamp and flashlight when I was little. btw - what kind of sweet oil?? I mean what is it? I never heard of sweet oil. There's olive oil, cooking oil, etc..
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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hmmm. i've always been told never to put q-tips in my ear to remove earwax since this could result in impacting the wax further into the ear.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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hmmm. i've always been told never to put q-tips in my ear to remove earwax since this could result in impacting the wax further into the ear.
If you are doing it with peroxide, it is being loosened and coming out from the bubbling peroxide anyway.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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hmmm. i've always been told never to put q-tips in my ear to remove earwax since this could result in impacting the wax further into the ear.
I guess you could say - use the right tool for right purpose. If you have a big-ass wax in your ear.... or if you have a tendency to have an ear wax build-up... better not use q-tip. if it's as clean as mine with a small amount of wax... why not.

I used a certain "technique" when cleaning my ear with a q-tip. I don't jab it in cuz it'd push the wax in deeper. I make circular and I try to have the q-tip within center of the ear without touching the ear canal.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If you are doing it with peroxide, it is being loosened and coming out from the bubbling peroxide anyway.
I hope that works for OP's husband. if it doesn't - boy.... sounds like his ear wax is probably tougher than cement!
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If you are doing it with peroxide, it is being loosened and coming out from the bubbling peroxide anyway.
even with peroxide i was always told not to stick q-tips in my ear.

if the OPs husband has hard earwax, the best thing for him to do is to see his doctor. i know he doesn't have insurance, but perhaps they will allow him to pay on a sliding scale. if anything, i would go to a doctor before an ENT given how expensive ENT charges can be.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I hope that works for OP's husband. if it doesn't - boy.... sounds like his ear wax is probably tougher than cement!
Yes. I can't believe we are having this conversation, but I want to know why he neglected his ears so much anyway?
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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yup. definitely. BE CAREFUL! My mom used desk lamp and flashlight when I was little. btw - what kind of sweet oil?? I mean what is it? I never heard of sweet oil. There's olive oil, cooking oil, etc..
You can purchase it at a pharmacy. It is formulated specifically for use in the ears. My dad used to use it for us kids when we had ear aches. My pediatrician used it specifically to soften the stubborn impacted wax. My son had a real problem with that due to his ear molds.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I hope that works for OP's husband. if it doesn't - boy.... sounds like his ear wax is probably tougher than cement!
...and if that's the case, chances are likely that he'll have to see a doctor for earwax removal anyways.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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...and if that's the case, chances are likely that he'll have to see a doctor for earwax removal anyways.
But then there is next time. He can prevent it with proper care!
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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If you are doing it with peroxide, it is being loosened and coming out from the bubbling peroxide anyway.
Yes. The bubbling action of the peroxide is a lesser version of the pulsing water from the water pik. The good thing about the water pik is that it actually flushes the wax from the ear canal without ever having to insert anything to pull it out and risking perforation of the ear drum or further impaction.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Yes. I can't believe we are having this conversation, but I want to know why he neglected his ears so much anyway?
maybe it had nothing to do with neglect. i know my left ear always had problems with accumulating earwax no matter how often i cleaned it. funny thing is, ever since getting my ci's, i no longer have problems with earwax in either of my ears. in fact, whenever my ci surgeon or audi look into my ears, they always tell me how clean they are.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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But then there is next time. He can prevent it with proper care!
true.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:25 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yes. The bubbling action of the peroxide is a lesser version of the pulsing water from the water pik. The good thing about the water pik is that it actually flushes the wax from the ear canal without ever having to insert anything to pull it out and risking perforation of the ear drum or further impaction.
I have never tried it, but my husband owns one.

I have lots of scarring on my eardrums from heated oil being dropped in with a dropper when I was little and had infection. It breaks the membrane. I still remember the pain.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:25 PM   #21 (permalink)
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try the ENT. I used Dr. Epstein many years ago in Wheaton, MD. He was referred to me by an audiologist. BEtter spend out-of-pocket for the ENT than cheap CVS (Ah remembered it used to be People's Drug.....)
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:33 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Yes. I can't believe we are having this conversation, but I want to know why he neglected his ears so much anyway?
apparently he's too "busy".... even too busy to find out what he can do to fix his ear wax problem! I wonder what's his occupation
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:34 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I have never tried it, but my husband owns one.

I have lots of scarring on my eardrums from heated oil being dropped in with a dropper when I was little and had infection. It breaks the membrane. I still remember the pain.
Ah, yes! You only warm it to body temp....no hotter!

I know my son would ask for his ears to be flushed because they always felt so much better. And the water pik is completely painless. Just don't heat the oil warmer than body temp. I would just hold the bottle in my hand tightly for about 15 minutes to warm it.

If you decide to try it, let me know what you think.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:34 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I have never tried it, but my husband owns one.

I have lots of scarring on my eardrums from heated oil being dropped in with a dropper when I was little and had infection. It breaks the membrane. I still remember the pain.
omg! i can imagine.... <cringe>
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Unread 01-07-2009, 10:48 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tips! I'll run them by him and see if he wants to try anything.

My husband takes the train to L.A. in the morning and doesn't come home till 9 pm. I try to make things easier for him.

He recently moved from Illinois to California (where we both live now). And yeeeeaaahh...he's been neglecting taking care of his earwax. My husband is the first hearing-impaired person I've known really well and it was gross to find out about the wax-tamping quality of hearing aids. It makes perfect sense that it is a problem, though, and I'll try to bug him about getting himself taken care of more often.

He's been using the earwax loosening drops and using a baby-snot-sucker thing to irrigate his ears. I think it's time to see the doctor.
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Unread 01-08-2009, 03:55 AM   #26 (permalink)
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hmmm. i've always been told never to put q-tips in my ear to remove earwax since this could result in impacting the wax further into the ear.
Yes, ENT Specialist recommended the same thing. My both sons went to ENT Specialist twice a year to clean their ears... He put tube of water in boys' ears and flush it out... I saw some stones out of my boys' ears... until their ears are well clean... ENT Specialist use special tweezer to pull stones out of my boys' ears when my boys suffer ear infection... After pull stones out of their ears with special tweeyer... pain is over...

I use watt pad like the picture, Jiro showed... very gentle... go to ENT doctor twice a year to clean the ears.
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Unread 01-08-2009, 03:56 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I'm not hard of hearing, but my husband is, and he's assigned me a task since he's pretty busy.

His ear wax is very impacted and he wants me to make an appointment with an ENT doctor to get it suctioned out. Is there any way to have this procedure done cheaply? He doesn't have insurance. I tried the CVS minute clinic but the methods they use for ear wax removal are too wimpy for the DH's solid walls of wax. He's sure that curretage and water irrigation don't work for him.

I suspect that he's going to have to take it like a man and cough up the $300 all the doctors want for a ten minute suck session. If that sounds dirty, it's because I'm bitter at the health care situation in the U.S. But that's a completely different ball of wax. Har har.
$300 for 10 minutes? Don't you have any health insurance to cover the cost?



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