Plugged ear or something else?


It could be an allegy. I had a “popping” noise in my ears. The doctor prescribed “Flonase.” That helped out. 1x in the morning. 1x in the evening.



The same kind of hearing loss occurs to me when it’s time to replace the wax filter which in my hearing aids look like the tiny white thing which some call a wax guard. I think many brands of RIC hearing aids have a wax guard, the flexible dome that fits snug in the era canal. Beneath the dome is a wax filter, the tiny white object with a hole in it that can become plugged with wax, There is a filter remover that is a two inch long thin stick that has a tiney protrusion on one end and a new filter on the other. You stick the protrusion end in the hole of the plugged filter, give it a quarter turn to the left and pull out the old filter. Replace the old filter by pushing the new filter in the hole with turning it. Remove the two-inch stick and replace the outside guard and voila! you hear again (if that’s the problem). It’s a simple procedure that takes about a minute or two. The filter removers should be available from any audiologist. I get them free from COSTCO and I’ve seen them advertised on E-bay and Amazon. Who ever sold you your HAs must have them though some audiologists might want you to return the aids for repair so they can get richer rather than letting you know how simple the remedy is. Good Luck.



The sentence “Replace the old filter by pushing the new filter in the hole with turning it” should read “without turning it.” Sorry about the typo.



Jerry…After rereading your original post I realize that if your good ear hears both hearing aids, it seems unlikely that a plugged filter is the problem and it’s something going on in your head. I have had that happen when the wax got pushed right against the ear drum and nothing I could do would clean it out so a trip to the ear doctor who took his tool and dug it out, then flushed it with a big syringe of warm water. It could be time for medical intervention to find out what’s going on.



Jerry, you need to see your Dr. As Ken said if you act now you do stand a chance of reversing whatever loss you think you have. Waiting even 1 month could leave you with the same result as I have had. I implore with you please go and see your ENT asap if you don’t want to be left like you are now for good. It may now even be too late. Good luck.



Jerry, are you aware of “sudden hearing loss” which is a Googleable subject. It’s the reason people are recommending a doctor.




I’ve never been able to get the wax out of my ears at home. Usually I use peroxide for a couple of days to loosen it up, then head to the ‘minit clinic’ at CVS or another doc-in-the-box and have them washed out. Then I’m usually good for 3 or 4 months.



Jerry, sometimes you cal your audiologist or ENT’s office and the staff will tell you that there are no appointments available for weeks. DON’T ACCEPT THIS! Tell them this is an emergency (It truly is!).
If you can’t get an appointment today go to an urgent care place or even an emergency room and see a doctor today. Tell the doctor what happened and ask him/her if it would be appropriate to start taking high-dose Prednisone or Medrol. I believe that that is the usual treatment for sudden hearing loss. I can’t overemphasize this. Do it TODAY! Even if your hearing seems to be returning it might not return to as good as it was without IMMEDIATE intervention. I am not a doctor but I believe you should see one. Good luck.



Thanks, lots of unexpected dire warnings. Perhaps a fuller disclosure would make this tread of more value to me and others.

  1. I do not have total loss in my left ear, but a significant reduction in hearing any frequency, this is improving in the last couple of days. I have used hydrogen peroxide this morning and let is soak, listening to the sound and tickle of bubbles, for at least 5 minutes. I did to both ears, did not discover any sigh of wax when draining into a paper towel. I then flushed each ear with warm water using a syringe- about two or three oz size. No sign of wax. I have also taken time to flush both ears when taking my daily shower.
  1. I have a “bad” habit of taking a “Q-tip” soaked in hydrogen peroxide and used it to “scratch” inside of my ear. I just feels good and sometimes removes some wax as shown by the yellow on the tip. This may have resulted in me pushing some wax deeper in the ear.

So for what it is worth, that is the fuller story of my case. I’ll consider further Monday morning, but continue to believe I have a self healing (assuming I no longer exercise bad Q Tip practices) condition. Further I think if all of us went to the doctor every time we have a hiccup we’ll run medical costs into bankruptcy. I have Medicare and Medigap insurance so I can go any time I have a complaint and expect it to be fully paid. So my reluctance isn’t due to no money.



SSHL can be reversible if it’s treated early enough with the correct steroid.

Not treating it and assuming wax is risky.

Don’t use Q-Tips, they only push bacteria and some wax further into the canal.



Since you seem unwilling to follow the above advice…

Hum. If you can hear your own voice louder in the left (“blocked”) ear, then it may well be a conductive loss caused by wax or middle ear disfunction or a dome stuck in the ear or whatever. If you cannot hear your own voice well in your left ear than your problem is NOT a blocked ear. Go to emerg.



@keener: Click on the little pencil icon in the lower right of your post and you can edit your post. Then you can delete your correction.
If you like.



I use an old style BIC pen cap. It has a tapered tip. It has a concave inside surface. It kinda self-regulates as to how deep to go.
I totally agree with “just feels good”. And sometimes I haul out a wad of wax in the concave.
Think cocaine spoon :slight_smile:



Thank you… I’m glad to learn things I don’t know.



It’s not a hiccup, Jerry. Taking good advice is a sign of intelligence.



Thanks to all for concern and advice. This being Monday I awoke knowing my doctor would be in his office today but my hearing seemed maybe a little better. I put my right (troubled) hearing aid in first and clearly heard the placement bells. So, my voice and all sounds were back to near my “normal”. Hearing continues to improve and I will not make an appointment with a doctor, this time.

I got a couple of “Take Aways” from this thread/conversation.

  1. there is something called SSHL, now something more to be afraid of.
  2. the advice to not put anything bigger than a shoe in the ear is good advice, I’ll try hard to stop putting a Q-Tip soaked in hot water or hydrogen peroxide in my ear to scratch more than to remove any wax. I do not have a bad wax buildup problem.

I am very relieved to have my poor but good enough hearing that with hearing aids I can hear the TV at normal volume levels and talk in a quiet room with another and not have to wonder what was said. I will return to planning to move to a newer model hearing aid in the coming months as my first and current pair approach 5 years old.



The line I heard many years ago was “nothing smaller than your elbow”. But but oh I see :slight_smile:



Thanks, my hearing problem is related to my age, which I will also use as an excuse for not being able to type the advice correctly. It should have said: “Do not put anything smaller than a shoe in your ear”. Make better sense? If not I still have too many typos/mistakes in my typing and will again blame my age.



I’m sorry. I thought i was adding to the conversation. I had no intentions of trying to correct anything.
My writing will never be perfect either. I might make a joke on something here and there but I won’t be critical of anyone’s typos.



Off topic -
Lemur - What brand/model otoscope did you get?