I’ve known a couple of people who could suddenly hear just fine after a professional cleaned the wax out of their ears. Some home strategies for ear cleaning are likely to make a bad wax situation worse by pushing it further into the ear.
The drugstore kits with the little syringe bulb have worked well for some online posters. It’s important to soften the wax first, perhaps with olive oil or baby oil, and then wash it out with the syringe. It may come out more easily if you warm your ear first, whether with a hot compress or a heating pad. Sometimes you have to squeeze the syringe pretty hard to get enough force behind the water. It might be wise to boil the water first and let it cool, to prevent the admittedly minor risk of infection from the water.
Hearing aids make a world of difference to someone who has lost part of their hearing. It means a lot to their loved ones as well. They are also wickedly expensive. If you need hearing aids and can’t afford to buy them, check out Starkey Hearing Foundation’s Hear Now program. Contact them at http://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org /programs/hear-now/ and hearnow@StarkeyFoundation.org or (866) 354-3254. They also accept donations of used hearing aids.
Not all hearing aids are equally good for each person, and some are hardly any good at all. Don’t rely on a salesman; ask your doctor, ask AARP, ask the Better Business Bureau.
Something to know is that x-rays can damage hearing aids. Put them out of the room when having x-rays, including dental x-rays. Don’t leave them in a bag that will be going through the airport baggage scanner either.
Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.