ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Swimmers Ear - Excess Earwax or Cerumen Can Cause Hearing Loss

Updated on September 11, 2012

A simple rubber bulb syringe

Source

Hearing loss afflicts over 35 million Americans, about 11.3 percent of the population, according to an organization called Hear It. . If you have trouble hearing it is not just a problem with your social life or relationships, it can be a safety hazard. Hearing loss is a serious matter.

This article is not meant to replace a visit to your doctor, but it is intended to bring your attention to a possible source of relief. The answer to your problem may be as simple as hydrogen peroxide or Debrox if, and only if, your hearing problem is caused by excessive ear wax.

What is Swimmers Ear?

Swimmers ear is a popular term that applies to people who suffer from excessive ear wax or cerumen. It's often called swimmers ear because the problem is most acute when you submerge under water, and the water pressure causes the wax to be further impacted into your auditory canal. Some people, after a dive into deep water, come to the surface with virtually no hearing. This has happened to me many times.

If you have trouble with your hearing, the first step is to make an appointment with your doctor. I was having difficulty with my hearing, so much so that my wife actually called an audiologist to make an appointment for me. I reluctantly agreed that it was probably time for me to get a hearing aid. As a baby boomer in my mid-sixties, so many of my friends have hearing aids that I no longer thought of it as a thing to be embarrassed about. The doctor determined that my problem was not one of organic hearing loss, but of too much wax in my ears. It seems that I have an ear canal that just loves to trap the stuff. The audiologist first cleaned out my ears with a simple and painless procedure. Her assistant squirted some hydrogen peroxide into one ear. I was told to remain with my head sideways on a pillow to enable the solution to bubble away and loosen the wax. After 15 minutes she then sprayed water into my ear with a syringe. It was like someone had removed an earmuff. She repeated the procedure for my other ear. Only after removing the excess wax did she administer a battery of audiological tests. My hearing was perfect. I was not a candidate for a hearing aid. Besides causing hearing problems, excessive wax, if left unattended, can lead to ear infections.

My visit to the audiologist wasn't the first time I realized that I have a swimmers ear problem. But the difference between my prior swimmers ear experiences and this one was a matter of gradualness. After swimming it was obvious what happened to my hearing. But this time I hadn't been swimming. My hearing just gradually diminished over time, so slowly that I didn't notice it, although others did.

The Simple Way to Handle Ear Was Problems

The good news is that the procedure that the doctor performed is easy to do at home. It's painless, almost pleasant. Hydrogen peroxide and the product Debrox are the substances of choice for busting up that wax. Here is what I do, every two weeks. I lay my head sideways on a pillow (covered with a towel in case of a spill). I pour some hydrogen peroxide into the cap and then draw some of it up into a small rubber syringe. I then squirt the stuff into my ear and lay there for 15 minutes or so. I then walk to the bathroom, keeping my head tilted, and go to the sink with the syringe. I draw up some warm water into the syringe and squeeze it with force into my ear. The difference is amazing. If you use Debrox, you squirt the substance right out of the bottle into your ear.

I was fortunate that my hearing problem was caused by something so easy to remedy. If you have a hearing problem, see your doctor. You may be lucky and have only an ear wax problem, a simple thing to remedy. Once you have determined that your problem is excessive wax buildup in your ears, it isn't necessary to go to the doctor's office for a remedy. It's cheap and simple and you can handle it yourself.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • hecate-horus profile image

      hecate-horus 5 years ago from Rowland Woods

      This is good for everyone to know! Not only can excessive wax be a safety hazard, it can be very painful. I had a horrible case of swimmer's ear as a child; it was so painful I couldn't eat or sleep. I was told just recently that if you get water trapped in your ear, put just a couple drops of rubbing alcohol in the ear canal. Helped my daughter immediately. Anyway, great hub, useful and shared!

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Absolutely super information and well written. I'm one of those that is constantly trying to stay ahead of the ear wax problem but admit, some of the hearing loss is due to age and a broken eardrum -- there's so much that goes on with ears besides listening -- LOL! Best/Sis

    • rfmoran profile image
      Author

      Russ Moran - The Write Stuff 5 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Thank you for your visit and your comments. Your car blinker comment really illustrates the dangers of even minor hearing loss.

    • cynthtggt profile image

      Cynthia Taggart 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Thanks rfmoran, for calling attention to a very serious but often ignored problem. My friend has hearing loss. Although he too had excessive ear wax, he was not as fortunate as you. It began when he put his swimming cap over his ears. After coming out of the water, the suction caused by the tight cap made his ear pop when he took it off. It's rare but it happens. Hearing loss, even a little, is indeed a safety hazard (like when I have to tell him his blinker is still blinking after switching lanes in traffic). Awesome hub. Voted up.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)