Q. I get recurrent ear pain whenever I clean my ears with q-tips?

Answered by
Dr. B Vageesh Padiyar
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on May 03, 2020 and last reviewed on: May 15, 2020

Hello doctor,

Last February, I have had an ear infection from cleaning my left ear too often with a q tip. I went to the hospital and was prescribed Aplosyn otic drops, Celebrex, and an antibiotic which starts with a letter L (I forgot it as I lost the prescription. I am sorry). I took it for a week and went back to the doctor to have me flushed. He told me my eardrum was not perforated. All went well until two nights ago. I gently cleaned my left ear with a q tip after shower before going to sleep. I woke up the following morning with mild pain in my ear (maybe because I was sided left all throughout my sleep and have put so much pressure on it). Today I used a mirror to have a look at it. It looks like it has pus again and the moderate pain now is up to my left neck. What should I do? Please help.


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Dr. B Vageesh Padiyar

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I know how frustrating this problem can get.

You can follow the advice mentioned below.

1. Please stop using earbuds q-tips as they introduce infections into a sensitive region such as the ear.

2. If there is pus coming out of your ear, there is a possibility of you developing an ear infection that may or may not involve the eardrum.

3. Take tablet Amoxicillin 500 mg with Potassium Clavulanate 125 mg combination one tablet thrice times a day after food for one week. Along with this, you can also take a combination of Paracetamol, Phenylephrine, and Levocetirizine one tablet twice daily for one week.

4. Keep your ears closed with sterile cotton and change it every six hours.

5. Do not allow any water or air to enter into your ear as it can keep getting infected and pus or ear discharge will start once again.

6. In a case where if by chance there is perforation of the eardrum, it will close on its own once the discharge subsides.

Do not worry about it, you will be completely fine in a week's time.

I hope this helps.

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