I had recent issue with ear wax, that was quite painful, but the solution ended up being simple and easy. Even though the story might be a little gross, I thought I’d share it here in case the simple solution was of use to anybody else.
Ear wax – how the problem started
My ear had been getting sore over a period of a few weeks. Whenever I my finger anywhere near the hole in my ear, I noticed that it was quite tender and sore. I was wondering if it was an ear wax problem because some wax comes out of my other ear occasionally but I don’t remember getting wax out of this ear.
I tried to use things to get wax out (this is a bad idea!) but had no luck. I remember a doctor telling me that the only thing you should ever put in your ear is olive oil. I also remember being told that you should not put anything in your ear smaller than your elbow. Even though I knew it was a bad idea, I tried to manually get the wax out anyway. Please don’t do this, not even with a cotton bud, as you could be just compacting the wax in there and potentially creating a real problem.
One evening, when my ear was sore, I remembered the doctor who told me to use olive oil.
Ear wax and olive oil
I laid on my side on the sofa and asked Gloria to put a few drops of olive oil in my ear. Felt a bit weird at first but no real problem. Now just lay there and let the oil work its way in. You can use your finger to move the skin around outside of your ear, to help the oil get in, but I find that just moving your jaw activates all the muscles and ligaments in that area and does a good job.
When you do this, make sure you have a few tissues in your hand because, after a few minutes you will sit up and the oil and wax (hopefully!) will come out. Unfortunately, when I sat up, it was really only oil that came out and I was disappointed.
What happened next
It was dinner time then so I went to eat dinner. Like I said above, when you activate your jaw, all the muscles and ligaments near your ear start working and moving around. So, when I ate, I now started to feel real pain in my ear. Really sharp, high-level pain. I gently put my finger to my ear and I could feel something starting to poke out of my ear. It was like I could feel wax there. I tried to eat more, but the pain was too much.
More olive oil
I laid back down on the sofa and got Gloria to put in a few more drops of olive oil. When she was about to put the drops in she said “oh, I can see it!”, but I asked her not to do anything but put the oil in. I stayed there as long as I could and gently worked my jaw to get the oil to move around and get in everywhere.
After some minutes, I sat up and again it was mostly olive oil that flowed out onto the tissue and I was disappointed. I gently put my finger to my ear and now I could feel more (ear wax I presumed) was poking out. I wondered what I should do?
I decided to lean my head over the tissues so my ear was pointing directly downward, then I used two hands to pull the ear canal as wide open as I could and just move the skin around. I didn’t feel anything but when I looked down at the tissues I got a huge surprise – the largest amount of hard ear wax that I’d even seen was on the tissue. It was at least 20mm long and most of it was very hard. See the image below.
The pain in my ear was instantly gone. It felt 100% normal straight away. What a relief.
If you’re having any problems with ear wax, I hope this case might be of some use to you. I plan to use olive oil from time to time to keep my ears clean, and I’ll try to never poke anything into my ears again.