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#23123 - 11/03/08 01:54 PM Ears
BritMum Offline
Member

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 226
Loc: UK
When we saw our Derm in August this year he referred our daughter to an ENT specialist as he said her ears were becoming blocked with dead skin. We saw the ENT lot today and they weren't overly concerned but said the only way to remove what was there (wax and some skin) was to put our little girl to sleep to suck it out!! I'm not keen on this idea as I don't feel it is necessary. We don't think her hearing is impaired at all - She doesn't miss a trick, and has never had any infections!!!! Anyway, they're going to do a hearing test but they don't really feel it warrents a general anaesthetic to clean out her ears. The doc explained that the skin in the ear canal grows and sheds in a different way to the skin on the rest of our bodies and therefore doesn't build up layer upon layer.

So, what I'm asking is, has anyone else had any experience with similar things or had any particular probs with ears???

Cheers,

Jx

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#23125 - 11/03/08 02:41 PM Re: Ears [Re: BritMum]
Sarah Helen Offline
Member

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 383
Loc: Twin Cities, Probably North of...
I have a lot of skin in my ears (wax is really oil + dead skin). I do have my own way of getting rid of it but I won't share that because it is actually dangerous and I shouldn't be doing it. For me it is more uncomfortable and itchy than impairing hearing or causing infections.

At the FIRST conference in Chicago last year there was an ENT presenting there. He showed some tools and methods of flushing out the kids ears. It looked pretty easy.

You should ask your ENT lot to show you how to do that.
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Sarah & Son
EHK & ARCI
"Today is the Tomorrow that you worried about Yesterday, and all is well"

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#23127 - 11/03/08 02:47 PM Re: Ears [Re: Sarah Helen]
BritMum Offline
Member

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 226
Loc: UK
I asked her if there was any other way of removing it but she said not! All she suggested was that when we see "plugs" and bits to gently pull them out if we can get to them!!! Apart from that she explained that the dead skin will eventually work it's way to the exit due to the way the skin grows in the ear canal!

Jx

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#23129 - 11/03/08 02:54 PM Re: Ears [Re: BritMum]
Sarah Helen Offline
Member

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 383
Loc: Twin Cities, Probably North of...
Yeah - my ENT thought the same thing but my dead skin stays in there.

The old rule of "don't put anything in your ear smaller than your elbow" might not apply here.

I would suggest contacting FIRST to get in touch with the ENT guy that was at the conference. He was incredibly understanding of how this condition affects our ears and he had some great ideas of dealing with it.
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Sarah & Son
EHK & ARCI
"Today is the Tomorrow that you worried about Yesterday, and all is well"

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#23131 - 11/03/08 03:19 PM Re: Ears [Re: Sarah Helen]
BritMum Offline
Member

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 226
Loc: UK
What's the guys name Sarah? And I'll drop him a line! Also PM'd you!!

Cheers

Jx

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#23133 - 11/03/08 03:31 PM Re: Ears [Re: BritMum]
sideshowbob Offline
Member

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 209
Loc: Midwest, USA
The ENT at the conference suggested 1 part alcohol to 1 part vinegar to clean ears. HOWEVER, this will sting because of the cracked skin in ichthyosis. He next suggested 1 part vinegar to 1 part water, but again, this may burn and my daughter SCREAMS when we use it. We use 1 part warm water to 1 part hydrogen peroxide every other day, and that works great. We also use a tool called an Ototek, which A loves because it scratches the itch in her ears. We only use it on the very top third of her ear canal, not going in very far at all as we don't want to get anywhere near her eardrum. For little babies I wouldn't use it at all.

Some parents use olive oil to loosen the wax at bedtime, and then flush the ears out with the peroxide/water mix in the morning. This works very well. You can also use a prescription medicine called Dermasmooth which I think some people really like.

Cleaning ears is important not just to remove buildup, but to prevent infection and fungal growth. If your child will tolerate the vinegar it really is best at keeping the ear PH where it should be. Good luck!
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4 year old daughter with CIE

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#23134 - 11/03/08 03:39 PM Re: Ears [Re: sideshowbob]
BritMum Offline
Member

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 226
Loc: UK
What do you use to put the mixes in with? A syringe? Or just squeeze drops in off cotton wool?

Thanks for the tips!

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#23139 - 11/03/08 07:07 PM Re: Ears [Re: BritMum]
Hearsay Offline


Member

Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 1449
Loc: Richmond, VA, USA
We got a 5ml syringe from the doctor's office. They took a butterfly needle - the kind with the long rubber tube on the end - and cut off the needle end so the part that attaches to the syringe has a little bendable tube about 1cm long. We mix 1/2 HOT water to 1/2 hydrogen peroxide and squirt the ears out any time they get built up. It takes about 3-5 squirts on each side - 2-3 to loosen stuff, and 1 or 2 more times to get it to come out. We then dry the ears with a q-tip so they don't have to listen to the peroxide popping and itching afterwards.

I monitor my kids' ears with an otoscope. You can find them on eBay or buy them directly from Welch-Allyn. It ran about $50 or so for a medical student model. My kids get the "ear looker" every other day or so, a daily swabbing with a q-tip, and peroxide squirt only when needed, which is about once a month.
_________________________
Jennifer
Ichthyosis-en-Confetti Type 2
Husband, Nathan - 10, Elliot - 7, Oliver - 4, all affected.
I also have an unaffected daughter, age 8.


email: jennifer at confettiskin dot com
facebook - find me on "ichthyosis mommy spot" or "friends of ichthyosis"

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#23140 - 11/03/08 08:40 PM Re: Ears [Re: Hearsay]
yr Offline
Member

Registered: 07/16/08
Posts: 107
Loc: Ireland
We've a lot of trouble with our boy's ears. And our ENT - who I think is up there with God - does a procedure called Micro T and Suction. The dead skin and wax can form keretin - the stuff that hardens your nails? Wax also moves - when you feel hot, it softens the wax, so the children would'nt appear to have difficulty hearing all the time. Our doc told us not to clean them at all and to let that to him. We have this procedure done roughly twice a year. If we want to use anything he said to use warm olive oil, but we usually end up ringing him.

We have an arrangement with him whereby when we think that the boys ears need cleaning - they get very deaf - I just phone his secretary and she sends us an appointment for the day ward. He does the exam there and decides whether or not he needs to clean them out and he always has to. He does it under g.a. as he said it's too severe to do in their senses. Maybe when they are older they may be able to tolerate it but not at the moment.

Jack finds it quite severe and wakes up in pain as the procedure involves scraping a layer of skin off the ear drum. They then have a full audiology exam before discharge. It's not ideal, but the alternative is a very unhappy hard of hearing boy.

Hope this helps.

Yvonne.

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#23143 - 11/03/08 09:20 PM Re: Ears [Re: yr]
BritMum Offline
Member

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 226
Loc: UK
Thanks! The ENT consultant said if it needed doing it would need doing 6 monthly. She's sorted out a hearing test and if the results don't indicate there's a problem she didn't feel it would be worth putting our daughter under a GA just for the sake of cleaning her ears. When she looked in them today she didn't feel they looked any different to any other kids ear - just evidence of wax.

How old are your boys? The ENT doc said that by the age of 6 -7 kids can tolerate having their ears cleaned without GA.

Jx

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