Q. I used a water syringe to clean wax and developed excruciating ear pain. What is the cause?

Answered by
Dr. Sandeep Shrestha
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 15, 2020 and last reviewed on: Mar 06, 2021


I have ETD in my left ear. I used Debrox and the water syringe to clean the wax because my ears felt clogged. Within a few hours, I developed excruciating ear pain in my left ear. I immediately went to the urgent care to see if I had an infection, and they said I do not have any infection. They prescribed ear drops in case it was too early to detect the infection.

The pain is 10/10. What could be the problem, and how do I resolve it? Also, is there anything I can do to relieve the pain?




Welcome to

As per your history, you might be having otitis externa as you give the history of ear manipulation, or it can also be an early stage of acute otitis media. To confirm otitis externa, you can press your tragus. If it is painful, then the most likely diagnosis is otitis externa.

Treatment :

1) Tablet Paracetamol 500 mg + Ibuprofen 400 mg one tablet whenever you feel excruciating pain.

  • Avoid ear manipulation.
  • Avoid entry of water in the ear.
  • Take steam inhalation.
  • Avoid forceful blowing of your nose.

I hope this will help you.

Thank you.

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