Since I was a kid I cleaned my ears with cotton swabs, every day after bathing. Now during mid-june of this year I ran out and forgot to buy more swabs for about a week. I tried cleaning my ear with a tissue a couple times, didn't seem to make much difference though.
Soon my right ear started to hurt. I wear closed-ear headphones quite a bit, as I work on my music at night. I suspected this was what did it, my ears sweat while the rest of my body is cool from air conditioning, which I can't turn off.
Anyway, the ent suctioned wax from my eardrum, suctioned and sprayed my nose, and told me never use cotton swabs, that I had pushed the wax in with them. He didn't ask me a whole lot, he pretty much assumed he knew. Prescribed neomycin & polymyxin b sulfates and hydrocortisone otic solution, 5 drops 3x a day for a week. I did so, going to see him at 9:30 this morning.
The trouble is that my left ear has started hurting after a week of not cleaning it. He did in fact check both ears when I was in, and showed me what a healthy ear looks like with my left ear.
What I suspect is that the original infection came from the week of not having swabs, not from the swabbing itself. I never clean too deeply because it says on the box of swabs, and my mom taught me not to stick the thing too far in.
Is this likely? Should I find another doctor, since following his recommendation got my other ear hurting?
The one thing about constantly cleaning your ears.. Is that it removes the ear wax naturally there. When you do that, your ear gets in the habit of constantly producing more wax. I suspect that you have trained your ears to make all that wax, and now it is building up. I would suggest buying liquid ear wax removal solution (you can buy it at any pharmacy or store). Use that for awhile, instead of the cotton swabs. I would not clean your ears every day. Give it a few days in between cleanings to get your ears back into a normal cycle of producing wax. Also.. On top of that.. Similisan (spell?) is a brand that makes a great natural ear drop that eases ear pain. I used it for awhile myself. That might help soothe the discomfort.