earwax advice- how do you cope?

Hi all, I hope someone can help me as this is causing me considerable worry.

Basically, I have tinnitus in my left ear. I have always suffered from excessive earwax but this has been worose since I developed tinnitus in January.

So, I used to blast shower water into my ears. However, after a nasty middle ear infection and tinnitus after a home syringing went wrong, I have stopped doing this. I now use olive oil drops once a week and try to scrape out loose earwax wih my pinkie. I also try to never get water in my ears as I have heard this can cause an external ear infection?

Anyway, I kind of feel that it's just a matter of time until I get an earwax blockage again. Is there anyone out there who has this problem? How do you cope? Any tips? Thanks x

14 Replies

  • Hi momo33, I had to go to the ENT last week because after 7 days of using olive oil, the wax just would not shift. I am deaf in my one ear due to a tumour a long time ago so my GP made an appointment to see an ENT specialist to have it removed. During this appointment he removed the wax by suction, I told him about the olive oil and he said all it would do is soften the wax. I asked him how best to clean my 'good ear' and he said NEVER poke or prod with cotton buds or fingers, he said the best way is to use Sodium bicarbonate ear drops. You can make this up yourself or purchase it at chemists. I was toldI could use it daily or at least once a week . Instead of softening the wax it would dissolve the wax.

    Leave the drops in for 10 mins and just wipe the outside of the ear (not the inside).

    Hope this helps

  • Hey GDJTAM, it helps a lot, thanks. I will order some now. Glad you are feeling better after shifting the wax- it sucks to have a blocked ear. I agree, it does feel like it just sits there after using olive oil. I haven't tried sodium bicarbonate eardrops as I heard they could be drying? Anyway, will definitely use them now as I don't want to end up with another impacted ear. Thanks!

  • Hi momo 33

    I would go along with GDJTAM 's comment regarding the ear drops( sodium bicarbonate) I had the same problem a couple of years ago regarding excessive wax due to wearing two hearing aids for most of the day for mild to moderate hearing loss in both my ears, on a visit to the hearing therapist for my Aids I did mention about my wax problem and straight away with no hesitation she put me on to these drops, been doing regular oiling once a week of 2/3 drops in both ears and the wax problem I had is no more, I did have a yearly cheek a few weeks back and the nurse said that she has never seen such a clean pair of ears so I can't complain. Hope this helps


  • Hey Dave, thanks. Have you tried olive oil drops as well? Did they work at all for you? I am going to get some sodium bicarbonate drops today. I am so fed up of this problem. I am glad you have found a way to overcome it. Thanks so much for this helpful tip!

  • Hi momo33

    At first I did use olive oil and yes it did soften the wax but found I needed micro suction on a regular basis say every couple of months or so until I visited the hearing therapist for a hearing aid related matter, she put me on to these drops and as I said in my post I have had no problems with the wax thus far.

    PS. I was advised to use these drops twice a day for about 10 days which I did in the beginning to rid my ears of the wax and then to oil once a week to keep the wax under control, so far so good. Another tip my therapist said to do is warm the bottle containing the drops to body temperature first I found that way it's more (body friendly) if you like.


  • Hi Dave, thanks for this. My ears aren't quite blocked yet, so glad to have caught this in time! My doctor syringed my ear a couple of months ago and I hated it, so hoping to avoid that again. I am going to start on sodium bicarbonate drops tonight- I will warm them up first as you advised, and see how that goes. Thanks!

  • Hi again Dave, I used the sodium bicarbonate drops last night and woke up with an impacted ear (the same ear I have tinnitus in). Can I just ask if you found your ears to feel more blocked at first as well? I will keep using them twice a day for ten days as you advised. I am worried now that I will need to have my ear syringed!

  • Hi momo33

    The very first time I used these drops for the first day or so my ears especially my right felt clogged and bunged up I was a bit concerned and a bit worried to say the least as to why I had this sensation of fullness but I carried on after reading that even with olive oil if you have a considerable amount of wax build in the ears the wax can swell a little initially making the feeling of fullness in the ear as you mention, but in my case after a day or so the wax started to emerge from my ears and the fullness subsided. If your still concerned after a little while then the first port of call would be your GP.


  • Hi Dave, thanks for your reply. My other ear is fine: the drops just went in and trickled out, but my left is is very blocked, so the point that I can't hear anything. Is this normal? When you said that you had ear fullness, could you hear anything? I hope the wax starts to come out soon- I hate having an impacted ear!

  • Hi momo33

    I still could hear out of my right ear which was badly affected more so than my left, but the sound was very dull and off which worried me slightly, it did take a day or so to feel normal if you like. Like you I hate having blocked ears nothing worse, these drops work fine for me as I said. So I hope you start to get some results soon but a little patience won't hurt though.


  • Hi Dave, thanks. It has cleared a little today and will keep at it. Hopefully these will be the answer to this annoying problem! Thanks for your help, have a good weekend!

  • Hi momo

    My partner has had a really blocked left ear for several days now and I have been oiling that ear for her and it's now beginning to slowly clear and that's been nearly a week so patience, in this case, is a virtue


  • HI Momo33

    Please read my post by clicking on the link below titled: microscution and Irrigation, that you might find helpful.

    All the best



  • Thanks, Michael! Am going to read it now.

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