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Hearing management

Question
Posted by: | 2015/03/24

Q.

Blocked ear. Should I be concerned?

Hello . I Had an earache last night so I put some castor oil in it as I'd run out of olive oil. The earache is gone but now my ear is blocked. It's afternoon now and the oil hasn't drained out. I'm a bit worried. I'm experiencing no pain or hearing issues. will the oil eventually absorb/drain out? Should I be concerned?im Trying to avoid an expensive trip to the doctor.

Expert's Reply

A.

Hearing Expert
- 2015/04/22

Good day

You have probably already sorted the problem. However, for future purposes the following information may help: Many people are using home remedies in order to seek immediate relief of ear ache, to save time and to save costs. Some of these remedies might even work very well. The difficulty with the ear however is that one never knows what exactly is causing the ear ache, what the ear canal looks like inside or whether there may even be a perforation (tiny hole) in the eardrum. Ear ache can be generated from an outer ear infection or fungal ear infection. There could also be a wax probe pressing against the eardrum. This occurs in the outer canal part of the ear. Ear ache can however also be caused by acute middle ear infection which occurs behind the eardrum. It may also be a referred pain due to dental problems. Each of these problems necessitates a different treatment plan.  With a fungal infection you do not want to expose the ear canal to moisture. Using oil with a wax probe can cause it to expand or move closer to the eardrum and when it touches the eardrum and reduces the movement of the eardrum it may cause a further temporal loss in hearing sensitivity. If there is a perforation in the eardrum, the danger of using an oil substance is that it can flow into the middle ear behind the eardrum and cause infection and a loss in hearing sensitivity. Therefore, a trip to the doctor may even save you more costs in the end compared to what home treatment may do. However, an ear ache at night can be absolutely agonizing. If you are prone to a wax build-up, it is recommended that you visit an Ear-, Nose- and Throat Specialist every 6 months or as recommended to extract (and not syringe) the wax. Any on- going, chronic or persisting problems must also be addressed by an Ear-, Nose- and Throat  Specialist. For a sudden, acute problem you can visit your GP first. If one wants to use drops for the ear, one of the safer ones will be waxsol which can be obtained without a script.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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