General Question

wenn's avatar

Qtip too far, dull discomfort in right ear but can still hear out of it?

Asked by wenn (2673 points ) May 24th, 2010

Was Qtipping my ears after my shower like I normally do, and one slipped just a tad too far.

I can still hear, but my right ear won’t pop and there is a dull discomfort in it.

Any thoughts? Doctor visit needed?

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12 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

you might have shoved some ear wax deeper in the ear… A doctor can remove this if that is the case…P.S. don’t use a Qtip in your ear to take it out…Qtips are not for the inner-ear

krzdkanga's avatar

You can buy some cool drops at a drug store that break up ear wax. Just drop them in with that ear facing the ceiling and let them soak down in there and then turn your head over and spill the nastiness out onto a paper towel or whatever. Sounds weird for a lot of people that haven’t done it but let me tell you, I bought some drops for the first time a few years back and now I use them religiously (maybe once per month). It helps your hearing and can make your ears just feel lighter. At least it did for me. As for the discomfort, as long as it isn’t pain or noticeable trouble hearing, etc… I wouldn’t worry about it. Probably just shifted some wax around and now your ear is adjusting. When you move the wax around you may have covered or exposed different areas of the ear drum to sound and it probably just feels weird because it isn’t what your ear is used to.

lilikoi's avatar

Hydrogen peroxide in the ear applied as @krzdkanga described above for drops can also loosen ear wax, but I’m not sure if that is what is causing your discomfort.

bongo's avatar

the doctor told me not to use hydrogen peroxide when i did that, she said to use olive oil a couple of times a day leaning so it stays in your ear for as long as you can to clear out the wax. Its more natural and it works just as well if not better as you can use it as many times as you want in the day and use as much as you want. she said hydrogen peroxide can irritate some people.
if it doesnt go away in a few days go to your doctor and they will have a look at it and will irrigate it if it needs. they wont be able to irrigate it if you havent been using either ear drops or olive oil as the wax wont be soft enough to get out. if you have any pain you may have caused a very slight infection from shoving the Qtip in, the doctor will be able to see this and prescribe you about 3–5 days antibiotics. they also will not be able to irrigate it if there is any kind of infection there so you would have to go back when the infection is cleared up if there is one. this happened to me a few months ago but as i had a slight infection they couldnt unblock it for a week, it was so annoying!

JLeslie's avatar

I would give it a few day before I ran to a doctor, maybe it is just irritated. If you can, sleep on that side in case any wax was shoved in too far, the heat from sleeping on that side should help it drain, it helps me. I have never tried any of the products mentioned above. If it lasts more than a week, I would say go to the doc, because he can give you drops to quiet any inflammation or antibiotics if necessary (although doubtful) and they can irrigate the area if necessary also.

filmfann's avatar

Lots of good advice here on general ear care, but since it sounds like you have compacted the ear wax, most of it won’t help now. go to a doctor. He can carefully suction it out without damaging your ear.

yes, I have done this a few times

hearkat's avatar

Hi, I’m an Audiologist. The fact that you report no change in hearing is a good sign that you probably did not damage the ear drum. As others have noted, it is likely that you have pushed wax or even part of the cotton swab deeper into the external auditory canal.

Once debris or wax gets into the bony portion of the canal, the natural self-cleaning mechanism can no longer move it toward the ear canal opening, as there are no cilia that deep in the canal. You do have the option to try using drops to help soften and remove the blockage yourself. Peroxide is sometimes recommended, but can be too drying for some; there are some oils designed for use in the ear (e.g. Miracell), and Olive or Mineral Oils have also been used as home remedies, but they are not always the best solution for all patients, either. The over-the-counter kits that you can get at drug and grocery stores have peroxide blended with other ingredients so that it breaks down the wax more effectively and also inhibits bacteria and fungus from breeding.

As others have noted, if you don’t notice improvement within a couple days, see your physician.

wenn's avatar

My ear is feeling a little better, but still not normal so I am heading to the doctor in the morning to get it checked.

Thanks for the inputs!

wenn's avatar

If anyone is interested the doc said there was no infection and nothing had been pushed further into my ear, only my ear drum had slightly retracted. Within 10–12 days he said it should be back to normal.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks for the update. Glad nothing is damaged beyond repair.

hearkat's avatar

@wenn: You were fortunate. It is possible that the cotton swab irritated the skin in the ear canal which is very delicate and highly innervated as a defense against damaging objects. This could have resulted in increased blood flow to the area which can give a sensation of fullness.

A retracted eardrum does mean that your ear is not ‘popping’ – the Eustachian tube between the middle ear space (behind the ear drum) and the throat is not opening as it should when yawning or swallowing in order to equalize the pressure. If you have allergies or nasal/sinus congestion, these might be related to the problem, and treating them typically helps the ear pressure resolve, as well.

I hope all is normal soon!

inloveinmiami's avatar

Ive had this same thing happen – I have finally given up using Qtips!! hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a ear wax kit from any drug stroe are the way to go :)

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