I just posted for first time to this forum w/ question for my husband but saw your post and had to respond:-)
Major issue for me and (was) seeing an ear Dr regularly for it. I have really small ear canals and have always had trouble clearing ear wax. Problem has gotten worse as I've gotten older.Got all sorts of different suggestions/advice ranging from being told I have excema in my ears which causes flakes, itch then infections from my itching them....usually wake up from sleep itching them. Feel like a dog sometimes:-).....to being told it is just because I have "wet" ear wax that can only be cleared via water irrigation (not the suction machine my old ear Dr was using w/ little success).
After trying anti-biotic drops off and on for a few years, several trips to the ear Dr for cleaning (usually sent me home to do more drops to loosen wax up more and come back....which made no sense since I thought my wax was "wet"????) I was told I needed surgery to widen my canal (shave the bone growth I also had due to surfing in cold water).
I was ready for surgery because my ears were clogged more often then open (and I can totally relate to the sleeping on one side and having that ear clog up as a result. Been there and done that a lot).
I decided to bag surgery a bit longer and live w/ the clogged ear for a while longer. At a Dr appointment for a sore throat that wouldn't go away, the Dr on call that day also checked my ears. I warned him jokingly ow gross they were and to be prepared; told him how my ENT dr had not been able to clear them after several visits and had booked me for surgery etc). This DR (about 79 yrs old) laughed and said he'd be right back. Came back w/ Elephant Ear ear wax removal bottle, squirted for about 1 minute and you would not believe how quickly and efficiently he totally cleared my ears of all that junk. I hugged him. He told me that my problem is "wet" ear wax and that wet ear wax is best removed with water. My old Dr wouldn't use water due to saying irrigation can damage the ear drum....but what he put me through to avoid using irrigation was ridiculous. The suction didn't work and he was going to have me undergo unecessary ear surgery for something that took this other Dr 1 minute to accomplish with a plastic bottle, a hose on it and some water.
That all said - I feel that there is a combo of things going on:
1.) I have wet ear wax that does seem to respond to (remove much more easily) via irrigation better then suction machine.
2.) It probably is excema that causes that flakey stuff that makes my (your) ears itch. When I itch it it causes skin to get irritated/crack. That leads to infection. The "crusty" stuff you feel after a night of itching is probably dried "puss" not ear wax. You do need drops to clear up infection when that happens or it could go on for quite a while in that same pattern (itch, crust over, flakes out your ear, itch, builds up crust again etc...).
3). You can use some kind of drop to keep excema at bay after you clear up the infection but I can't remember the name of it. Ask a skin Dr. I need to look into getting that again to prevent that cycle of infection now that my ears have finally been cleared really well and I know how to properly keep them from getting clogged again (get them irrigated - not suctioned clean).
FYI: I am a strong believer that putting vinegar or alcohol in the ears of someone who gets infections or has exema (eczema) is just asking for more irritation and infection. It may work for some at keeping their ears dry - but since you get infections easily and itch - probably not a good idea for you. Use a hair dryer on low heat to dry excess water out after shower or swimming. That works and doesn't' irriate.
Long time ear problems person here so reason for long reply. I totally have been there. It is very annoying and the hearing loss when an ear is clogged for long periods of time is very annoying.
I have the EXACT same problem. It drives me insane...My doctor told me its just the skin weeping from being broken. It is such an aggrivation. I will itch my ears, sometimes, until they bleed. I finally found out it was eczema in my ears. He told me to keep soap and shampoo out of my ears b/c they are irritants. He also gave me a script for an emulsion that acts as a lubricant ( because my ears don't produce ear wax, which is part of the problem). It takes a concentrated effort on my part to keep them in check. P.S. Absolutely NO q-tips !!!!!
Hi, I have been experiencing the same itchy ear problem for the past year and a half. It's gotten so bad that it is waking me at night. I think my problem is similar to yours because it began after I went swimming and got water in my ear. I saw that your Dr. (the old smart guy, loved that) used the elephant ear wax remover. I googled and found it but am curious to know if it needs to be applied by a doctor. Does it have to be applied by a doctor and have you had the problem since the old doctor cleaned out your ear with it?
I am tired of the short-term oil in ear treatment. I wasn't born with this problem I shouldn't have to live with it forever, I feel.
I apologize in advance if this is a duplicate post.
Back on Sept 15, my itchy ear was getting itchier and it was affecting the hearing in imy right ear to the point I could not hear very well through it. I was experiencing the same symptoms that you have and kept scratching and poking at my ear. This started about three weeks earlier. As I listen to music constanly I decided I had to do something. I was able to get a quick appointment with an ENT MD. Went there and he looked in my ear and could not see the ear drum so he washed out with that super spraying tool of his. I could hear again. The problem was that I was constantly itching my ear apparently due to eczema. As I was always itching my ear, the skin tissue was breaking free from the ear and getting in to the ear canal etc. He prescribed a product called Dermotic Oil (ear drops - prescription only and NO generic). I have used it for two weeks and I am weaning myself off it. I do NOT have any more itchig and I can heaer. Maybe this is is your answer.
Thank you for a great post! I've been suffering with the same problem for nearly a year now and stumbled across this page. After explaining the symptoms to my Dr. and asking him about eczema in ears he told me the solution is simple!!!
Purchase hydrocortisone cream, use your little finger to apply inside your ear (avoid the ointment, as that's too greasy). He told me to expect results really quick. Within a couple of minutes I could almost feel relief, I've just had my first nights sleep with no itchiness! He did explain the condition is chronic, so when you feel it coming back just apply a little more cream.
Hydrocortisone is available qt any cvs, stop and shop etc and it's in the regular isles,
Thank you for the advise. I'm going to try the hydrocortizone cream. For the last two years I have had wet itchy ears that get clogged, and with the white flakey stuff too. The antibiotic drops work, but the itchiness and other symtoms (symptoms) all come back within one or two weeks. The itchiness gets so bad that I can't stand it and I dont care if q-tips are bad, I have to stop the itching or go insane. I didn't know until I stumbled accross this sight that there are others out there that understand what I am going through. Thank you.
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