I’ve been having a problem with impacted earwax for several weeks, which is having a very significant effect on my hearing. It seems impossible to get my ears syringed with the current covid-19 restrictions in place. I went to my (NHS) hearing aid clinic 10 days ago and they said there was so much gunk in there I needed to stop the drops (which I’d been putting in for 10 days). A week later, no improvement. So I rang up the NHS 111 helpline and they sent me to a local pharmacist who said I needed to put olive oil in 3 times daily for up to 3 weeks! (I can only think she had an interest in an olive grove in Spain!)
Everyone professional seems to advise against anything but drops. Even syringing seems to be a last resort, and any form of DIY ear cleansing provokes a sharp intake of breath. Putting more and more drops in when nothing ever comes out seems to be like expecting your dinner plate to drain itself clean if you add some more gravy, instead of washing it up properly.
This leaves me with a couple of questions:
I can’t see that self-cleansing using a bulb syringe or similar and saline or bicarbonate solution could do any harm, or simply letting the water from the shower or whilst hair washing run in then out again. What is other people’s experience?
What preventative methods to people suggest? Regular olive oil? Weekly? Monthly? Shower water? In my experience, as soon as I start to notice a problem, olive oil only causes the wax to get onto to eardrum, making it 10 times worse.