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Doctor insights on: Ear Irrigation

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Dr. Michael Kleerekoper
12 doctors shared insights

Ear Irrigation (Overview)

Any use of liquid instilled into the ear canal could be described as ear irrigation (best done by a professional). Sometimes, the ear canal can become filled with excess wax (cerumen). One way to remove this excess is to gently flush the canal with liquid. Ear irrigation with a combination of alcohol and a vinegar solution is used by some after swimming to prevent ear infections.


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How should ear irrigation feel?

How should ear irrigation feel?

Don't: Generally I don't recommend ear irrigation. It can lead to infection or even tympanic membrane perforation. If you want to clean your ear, try white vinegar drops. If you do irrigate the ear, the vinegar drops will restore the pH of ear canal. ...Read more

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Dr. Michael Kleerekoper
12 doctors shared insights

Ear Irrigation (Overview)

Any use of liquid instilled into the ear canal could be described as ear irrigation (best done by a professional). Sometimes, the ear canal can become filled with excess wax (cerumen). One way to remove this excess is to gently flush the canal with liquid. Ear irrigation with a combination of alcohol and a vinegar solution is used by some after swimming to prevent ear infections.


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What is the definition or description of: ear irrigation?

What is the definition or description of: ear irrigation?

Flush with liquid: Any use of liquid instilled into the ear canal could be described as ear irrigation (best done by a professional). Sometimes, the ear canal can become filled with excess wax (cerumen). One way to remove this excess is to gently flush the canal with liquid. Ear irrigation with a combination of alcohol and a vinegar solution is used by some after swimming to prevent ear infections. ...Read more

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Treating Swimmer's Ear (Checklist)

Keep water out of ears (use earplugs or shower cap when showering)
Daily
Use eardrops as directed
Daily
Use Tylenol or warm compresses to minimize pain
3x day
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How long fafter an ear irrigation will I feel pressure on my eardrum?

Should not: If a proper irrigation has been performed to remove cerumen, there should be no pressure. Make sure that all the wax (cerumen) has been removed and there is no residual water in the ear canal. ...Read more

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Treating an Ear Infection (Checklist)

Look for other sources of ear pain besides infection
Once
Ask doc if TMJ (spasm of muscles to jaw joint) is causing ear pain
Once
Know that middle ear fluid isn't necessarily infection
Once
Look for ear pain and ear drainage -- both signs of infection
Once
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Could a piece of brain have come out during my ear irrigation today?

Could a piece of brain have come out during my ear irrigation today?

No: There are several strong membranes between your brain and the outer world. If anything came out it was most likely dirt or congealed wax. ...Read more

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Did a piece of brain come out during my ear irrigation today, how can I tell?

Did a piece of brain come out during my ear irrigation today, how can I tell?

No: The ear canal is well isolated from the brain. No degree of irrigation could cause any brain tissue to come out. Ear canals sometimes contain weird things, objects, foods and insect parts. Perhaps that is what you observed. Be comfortable that your brain is intact. ...Read more

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Can ear irrigation be done at home to clean out wax? I had my ear cleaned out two weeks ago at doctor wax is back not allowed to use qtip wax removal

Can ear irrigation be done at home to clean out wax? I had my ear cleaned out two weeks ago at doctor wax is back not allowed to use qtip wax removal

You Bet, Fairly Easy: Best: simply work shampoo into ear canals, with little finger tip, each time you shampoo your hair. Helps to pull pina back with opposite hand behind head while working in the soap. The wax will be softened by the shampoo ; work out. The usual medical tool for mechanical wax removal is 3 mm od buck ear curette, but not good if cannot see ; don't know anatomy. Q-tip too big, pushes wax further in. ...Read more

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My husband had our doctor do an ear irrigation, and now he is has very clogged ears, is this normal?Did the doc damage his ears? Any home remedies?

My husband had our doctor do an ear irrigation, and now he is has very clogged ears, is this normal?Did the doc damage his ears? Any home remedies?

Probably temporary: You don't say how long it has been since the procedure was performed or what the method was. Often a water jet irrigator with a special tip is used, which is safer than a metal syringe. Unfortunately, complications can occur including irritation of the ear canal, likely the case for your husband, or even perforation which would be more painful. No specific remedy. Return for eval to doc/ENT. ...Read more