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Hard ear wax

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, I've been having this problem for a while.
My right ear canal is producing very hard, crusty ear wax in an area on the inside of the canal. The affected area is only about 2-3mm in diameter, and I am able to remove the crusty wax after taking a shower.
The wax reforms every night, and is there when I wake up. When it is present, it makes it painful to insert my IEMs.
Is it possible that I have an ear infection? Should I get some hydrogen peroxide to rinse my ears? Alternatively, is it possible that I could be having an allergic reaction to the buds on my IEM? (Unlikely, since my left ear canal is fine).

Also, I have been using the foam mod for my IEMs. These foams can get a bit dry and 'brittle'. Is there any way to reduce irritation from the foams?

Thanks.
post #2 of 38
If you have an ear canal infection (from personal experience - I have had "swimmers ear" several times) it should be painful. Not just pain from the insertion of in earphones, but passive sharp pain. Basically I had the best of both worlds, a pretty bad infection due to a clogging of ear wax. I imagined by ear canal was probably 25% its original size (due to swelling) as I could not hear anything out of it (even after I got the ear specialist to remove the wax).

What you are describing as crusty wax, does it look like dried pus? I had pretty much the same thing but on a much larger scale (during the infection I had a pus like substance literally flowing out of my right ear - it the morning the ear would be covered in dried "pus").

Stop using the earphones for a week or two. If the irritation occurs normally, consult a doctor/specialist for further instructions. It is definitely not a good idea to use listening devices in the ear while they are infected in any way. If it is a minor infection, you will only need to take antibiotics for roughly a week.

I do not recommend you remove this crusty wax as it may further irritate your ear.

About the foams, perhaps you could wash them a tiny bit. I don't recommend it but it works with other foams (e.g. Grado Bowls). Just test it out if you are feeling lucky/brave.

EDIT: And in the meantime, keep water out of your ear.
post #3 of 38
x2 on what 4saken said.

It is most likely you have a small cut in your ear canal (you could have scratch your ear canal with your finger) thus there are dried pus formed to protect the wound. DO NOT remove it as it is the natural defense of your body against infection. Stop using headphone (of all kind) and allows sometime for the wound to heal. If you feel that the condition is getting worst (ask a family member to check for you), go and visit a doctor ASAP!!!
post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
x2 on what 4saken said.

It is most likely you have a small cut in your ear canal (you could have scratch your ear canal with your finger) thus there are dried pus formed to protect the wound. DO NOT remove it as it is the natural defense of your body against infection.
Not to be "that guy", but the scab element that you are referring to is caused by serum. You should be afraid if oyu actually have pus in the ear b/c it means you have an infection. Pus usually has a bit of an odor and will be yellow or milky-clear. Serum, on the other hand, will be clear unless the irritation actually has an open sore, in which case it may be tinted red.

In any case, keep your fingers, Q-Tips, IEMs (!!!) out of your ears for a few days and see if it gets better. You should be able to feel if the scab/wax is still there w/o removing it. You may want to see an MD if it is still there after a few days.
post #5 of 38
u need to STOP using IEM for your own health reason's sake !

are u using cotton buds?

it should be banned for 'cleaning ears' !

use a scraper but u need to practise with care !

go and sue the cotton buds people if u have been mislead into using their products !
post #6 of 38
GO SEE AN EAR DOCTOR.

Seriously, there are a lot of ear ailments that can PERMANENTLY mess your ears and hearing up.
post #7 of 38
Thread Starter 
Okay, thanks a lot for all the advice guys.
I can't see a doctor now because I'm in the middle of A-level exams :P.
Keeping IEMs out of my ears is going to be damn hard for me...I listen to music too much haha.
Oh well, will abstain and see how it goes then.

Edit: The pus/wax/thingy whatever is yellowish...which is what made me think it was earwax at first.
I rinse my ears with hot water regularly and use a scraper to remove earwax once a week-ish.
post #8 of 38
dude,

u are in trouble then,

i use the scraper to scrap the ear wax too, instead of using q-tips to further stuff the wax deeper into the ear canal.

keep the iems out, use speakers,

speakers have better imaging anyway.

use something entry level like minipod

study hard for your a-levels.
post #9 of 38
Oh what "that guy" up there said
If it starts to smell (I can't really describe it, but it should be a smell you would not enjoy), I fully recommend seeing a doctor so he can use an "ear scope" to check out the inside of the canal.
post #10 of 38
u may have some sort of bleeding or something,

no kidding dude,

don't wear iem ...

i am preparing for exams too

and music doesn't help in the concentration ...
post #11 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by twoears&oneheart View Post
u may have some sort of bleeding or something,

no kidding dude,

don't wear iem ...

i am preparing for exams too

and music doesn't help in the concentration ...
lol okay dude. Thanks for your concern, but I do not have any bleeding. I already said that I'm abstaining from IEM use upon your suggestions.
And music definitely helps me concentrate
post #12 of 38
Use speakers or something.
post #13 of 38
Hi friend,

i am using my earphones to study for exams too.

but i think u may not be suitable for IEMs if your wax buildup increases when u use IEM.

I recommend that you use cans instead.

a sweet spot would be Grado silver SR325? Alessandro MS2? (if u like an up-front forward sound)

or beyers 150 (detailed but closed-cans)

and various others like senns etc.

US$150 - 200 could get u one , i think that is the sweet spot for cans. max US$250.

cos the amps would set u back again by another 50 - 70 %.

good luck for your papers,

hint,

cambridge, those fools, they get lazier and set similar questions every year... even with change in syallabus ...
post #14 of 38
I think questions asking for medical diagnoses and most particularly the answers people provide should not be allowed on these forums. If people want to play idiot x 2 there are plenty of other places to do that.
post #15 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by twoears&oneheart View Post
Hi friend,

i am using my earphones to study for exams too.

but i think u may not be suitable for IEMs if your wax buildup increases when u use IEM.

I recommend that you use cans instead.

a sweet spot would be Grado silver SR325? Alessandro MS2? (if u like an up-front forward sound)

or beyers 150 (detailed but closed-cans)

and various others like senns etc.

US$150 - 200 could get u one , i think that is the sweet spot for cans. max US$250.

cos the amps would set u back again by another 50 - 70 %.

good luck for your papers,

hint,

cambridge, those fools, they get lazier and set similar questions every year... even with change in syallabus ...
I wish I had the money to fork out for cans, but I'm just a student haha.
and Cambridge is a bit too crazy for me! I'm going to Dundee for Medicine...not too insane
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