Ask The Doctor: Ear Wax Skin Lump Migraines
Each Tuesday, Doctor Rob Riley joins us on NewsCenter 16 at Noon to answer our viewers’ medical questions. Here are the questions he addressed on Oct. 31.
“My ears get plugged up with wax. I hear Q-tips are bad. What can I do?”Dr. Riley:
It’s important to remember that ear wax is normal and actually a helpful thing, but it does become a problem if too much accumulates and obstructs the ear canal. Our viewer is rightcotton swabs are a bad idea. They tend to push the wax down by the ear drum where it’s harder to remove. There are products you can get to soften ear wax. The most commonly used one is called Debrox, but other things like glycerin or baby oil work, too. And then, if necessary, you can use a soft rubber bulb syringe to gently flush the ear canal with warm water. If that approach isn’t effective in 3-4 days, it’s best to let your physician have a look. We have special tools to help clear things out. Afterwards, you can help to prevent the wax from re-accumulating by keeping it soft with a few drops of baby oil or glycerin in the ear canal each morning.
“I have a lump on the side of my lower leg. I can only feel it when I flex my leg. It’s about the size of a quarter and soft. Sometimes it hurts when I’m walking.”Dr. Riley:“What’s the best solution for a migraine?”Dr. Riley:
If you have a question for the doctor, be sure to watch for our Ask the Doctor post on Facebook every Tuesday morning.
What Is Earwax Buildup
Earwax is produced by glands in the ear canal. Although scientists are still not completely sure why we have earwax, it does trap dust and other small particles and prevent them from reaching and possibly damaging or infecting the eardrum. Normally, the wax dries up and falls out of the ear, along with any trapped dust or debris. Everyone makes ear wax, but the amount and type are genetically determined just like hair color or height. Smaller or oddly shaped ear canals may make it difficult for the wax our ears make naturally to get out of the canal. This can lead to wax impactions. This is earwax buildup.
Throat Symptoms: What’s Causing Your Hoarseness
When you speak, air moving through your vocal cords causes vibrations and results in sound. When all the working parts dont come together properly, your voice can sound strained, raspy, or hoarse. Hoarseness happens for a number of reasons your vocal cords can be swollen from a cold virus or laryngitis . However, prolonged hoarseness can also indicate a serious problem, such as cancer, so see an ENT specialist if your symptoms don’t go away.
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What Does It Sound Like
For some pregnant women, the tinnitus may match the rhythm of their pulse or heartbeat, known as pulsatile tinnitus. Some women report that their hearing feels muffled and they hear a loud whooshing sound.
With so many blood vessels near the ears, its no wonder tinnitus is a sign of elevated blood pressure. Even if you don’t have a history of high blood pressure, pregnancy can trigger it in healthy women. It’s vital to have it monitored and treated properly by a knowledgeable pregnancy care provider.
How Do I Remove Excess Earwax
Earwax can be easily treated with ear drops available from the pharmacy. They are designed to loosen and soften the wax, so it is easier to remove. Drops containing sodium bicarbonate or sodium chloride can also help to loosen up earwax.
Ear drops containing urea hydrogen peroxide are also available from the pharmacy. These work by breaking down the earwax into smaller pieces, making it easier to remove. These can be used in combination with a bulb syringe device that will clean the ear.
Olive oil ear drops are often used as the first line treatment for earwax. When put into the ear olive oil soaks into hardened wax and softens it, making it easier to flow in the ear canal. Olive oil ear drops should be used three or four times a day for at least five days to soften and aid removal of the wax.
If symptoms of earwax persist then ear irrigation may be considered. This involves a trained nurse flushing the ear with warm water with a gentle pressured water-jet. This softens and dislodges the wax in the ear. Ear drops to soften the ear wax need to be used for at least five days before having ear irrigation.
Ear syringing involves using a metal syringe and literally syringing the ears. This is no longer recommended as the ear irrigation system is more effective and a safer method of ear wax removal than ear syringing.
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Ear Cleaning With Hearing Aids
Hearing aid users face a dilemma when it comes to ear wax. Nobody should try to remove ear wax by themselves. The best thing to do is leave the ear wax alone and let the ear clean itself out naturally. If you try to clean it out yourself, you risk pushing the wax in more deeply, making it impacted.
At the same time, a hearing aid or earmold prevents the ear from being able to clean itself out naturally. Therefore, a hearing aid user will have to make regular trips to a healthcare professional to have their ears checked for impacted earwax. The guidelines from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation recommend that people who wear hearing aids have their ear canals checked on each visit to a healthcare provider or every three or six months. Your healthcare provider can inspect your ears with an otoscope to see if you have any impaction that needs to be treated.
If your ear is blocked with earwax, your healthcare provider may treat it with a wax-dissolving agent, irrigation, or manual removal. Be sure to follow your doctorâs advice to treat any buildup of earwax.
The Strange Relationship Between Winter And Hearing Loss
Written byBel Marra HealthPublished onNovember 16, 2017
There are different causes of hearing loss including genetic causes, enduring loud noises over a period of time, damage to the ear, and of course, aging. But did you ever think that the colder weather you experience in the winter could impact your hearing? Well, according to research findings, it can.
When the temperature drops, the risk of ringing in the ears and hearing loss increases. This is because there is a higher risk of rogue bones growing in the ear canal along with hardening of ear wax.
Bone growth in the ear canal is known as surfers ear because this condition is fairly common among those who surf, as they spend a lot of time in colder water. This condition forms on the top of existing bone in the ears and travels down the canal to the ear drum. The condition can potentially lead to hearing loss and also results in constant pain and ringing in the ears.
Dr. Roger Henderson explained, In severe cases, cold weather can cause abnormal bone growths within the ear canal, known as exostosis. This is the bodys way of attempting to protect the ears by creating a barrier against the cold. Exostosis can constrict the ear canal, contributing to increased ear wax build-up as the ear can no longer expel earwax effectively. This can be heightened in cold weather as wax can harden when ears are exposed to low temperatures, making ears more likely to become blocked.
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Earwax Of All Things Poses Unrecognized Risk In Long
Of all the indignities that come with aging, excessive earwax may be the most insidious.
That greasy, often gross, buildup occurs more often in older ears than those of the young, experts say. And when it goes unrecognized, it can pose serious problems, especially for the 2.2 million people who live in U.S. nursing homes and assisted living centers.
The excessive amount can cause hearing loss or ringing in your ears. Some people experience vertigo, which increases the risk of falling, said Jackie Clark, a board-certified audiologist who is president of the American Academy of Audiology. Right now, we see some correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline.
Earwax which is not really wax at all, but a substance called cerumen that binds with dirt, dust and debris is normally produced by the body as a way to clean and protect the ears. In most people, the self-cleaning process works fine.
But in others including about 10 percent of young children, 20 percent of adults and more than 30 percent of elderly and developmentally disabled people the wax collects to the point where it can completely block the ear canal.
Up to two-thirds of people in nursing homes may suffer from that condition, known as impaction, according to 2017 guidelines for removal of impacted earwax issued by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation.
How To Keep A Headache Diary
Keeping a headache diary may be one of the most important tools for you and your physician to make treatment decisions. The simpler the record-keeping, the better. Use two pencils or pens of different colors.
With one color, mark the days you have headaches. With the other color, mark the days you have dizziness or symptoms other than headache. Make a note of any possible physiologic, dietary, or environmental triggers that have been present in the past 24 hours before your symptoms.
Dont forget to bring your diary with you to your appointments. It will allow you and your physician to see your symptoms at a glance.
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Can A Deviated Septum Cause An Inner Ear Infection
Deviated septum does not cause inner ear infection. But it can contribute to middle ear infections.
Generally, mucus from nose and sinus bypasses the opening of the ET and drains into nasopharynx . Chronic nasal obstruction can cause nasal and sinus inflammation which leads to excessive mucus accumulation and microbial growth. The excess mucus along with microbes may enter the opening of the ET, causing its obstruction. This damp, warm, and stagnant area becomes a breeding ground for microbes, triggering development of infections in the middle ear.
Persistent infection may cause perforation of the ear drum which is present between middle and inner ear.Stammberger H. An endoscopic study of tubal function and the diseased ethmoid sinus. Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 1986 243:254-259.
But Parents Should Be Involved
However, Murthy said that the school boards should be ârespectfulâ in creating these mandates and that parents should be part of the decision.
âTo me, that means making sure that we listen to and hear from parents, â¦ making sure that we understand what their concerns are and that we have plans in place to meet those concerns. And frankly, also making sure weâre doing everything we can to root out misinformation about these vaccines,â he said.
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When Is Irrigation Not Suitable
Ear irrigation is not suitable for everyone in all circumstances. The procedure may be unsuitable if any of the following factors apply:
- The person has had ear surgery in the last 12 months.
- A child has a tympanostomy tube, also called a grommet, which is a small tube that doctors insert to allow ventilation of the middle ear.
- Another foreign body is blocking the ear canal.
- The person was born with a cleft palate.
- The individual has a perforated eardrum or has had one in the last 12 months.
- The person has or has recently had otitis media, which is an infection of the middle ear.
- There is a mucous discharge from the ear, which could indicate an undiagnosed perforation.
Anyone who has had any problems, such as severe vertigo or pain, following previous irrigation should not undergo this procedure again.
Ent Or Ear Nose And Throat Problems That Cause Pain From Headaches Or Migraines
ENT problems that can cause headache pain include sinusitis, ear infections, or tonsillitis. They can cause irritation to the nerves around the face and head contributing to headaches and or migraines.
At Colorado ENT and Allergy, our specialists are experts at dealing with problems in these areas. The first course of action is a diagnosis.
A comprehensive headache treatment should always include management of ear, nose, and throat issues. Schedule Your Consultation Today!
Once we identify the problems, there are many treatment options. These range from dietary changes to surgical procedures and medications.
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Throat Symptoms: Strep Throat And Other Infections
Strep throat is an infection caused by a form of the Streptococcus bacteria, Jones says. Doctors test for strep when someone has a sore throat because of its dangerous complications, such as heart problems that can happen later if the strep is not treated. Strep throat is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15, and symptoms of strep include sore throat, swollen tonsils, telltale white patches on the throat, fever, body aches, and even stomach pain. Strep throat should be treated with an antibiotic. Not all sore throats are strep throat if your strep test is negative, your sore throat is probably due to a virus and wont respond to antibiotics.
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Dementia & Minor Hearing Loss Whats The Link
Dementia and hearing loss are inextricably linked. Mild hearing loss doubles your chances of developing dementia, whereas severe hearing loss fivefolds your risk. As you age, keep an eye out for signs that your hearing has impaired. Around a third of persons over the age of 65 suffer from hearing loss. Hearing loss can be caused by ageing, repeated exposure to loud sounds , ear obstructions , accident, or a combination of these factors.
Hearing screenings for a baby and yourself should be incorporated into routine check-ups as hearing loss develops gradually. Annual hearing tests with a hearing care practitioner are suggested. In this manner, you can discover early indicators of hearing loss and take appropriate action. Taking action is critical because the untreated hearing loss has been linked to various health problems such as depression, dementia, and heart disease.
Physicians define tinnitus as the perception of sound in the absence of external stimulation. While palpitations might be terrifying, they are typically not indicative of anything dangerous. Your lifestyle has a significant impact on when, if ever, you develop hearing issues. While this is not always the case, tumours and ear trauma can also cause the Eustachian tube to malfunction. Seven hundred eighty-two respondents reported this symptom. This cotton wool sensation is a sign of irreversible cell damage in your inner ears.
Earwax Buildup And Blockage
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What is earwax buildup?
Your ear canal produces a waxy oil called cerumen, which is more commonly known as earwax. This wax protects the ear from dust, foreign particles, and microorganisms. It also protects ear canal skin from irritation due to water. In normal circumstances, excess wax finds its way out of the canal and into the ear opening naturally, and then is washed away.
When your glands make more earwax than necessary, it may get hard and block the ear. When you clean your ears, you can accidentally push the wax deeper, causing a blockage. Wax buildup is a common reason for temporary hearing loss.
You should take great caution when trying to treat earwax buildup at home. If the problem persists, visit your doctor. Treatment is generally quick and painless, and hearing can be fully restored.
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How Common Are Migraine Headaches
In the U.S. there are more than 37 million Americans that suffer from classic migraine headaches. In a room with 100 people, 13 are likely to have a migraine.
Although any person can have a migraine at any age, migraines are most common between ages 30 and 50.
Migraines can be a lifelong problem. They may start in childhood and disappear and reappear in new forms throughout an individuals life.
Surveys show that only 48% of people with migraine headaches have had a diagnosis and are being treated for their headaches.