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Find Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose & Throat) Specialists Near Streator, IL in your yellow pages. That lovely lady deserves a good ENT.
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Our ENT dr. uses a vacuum thing to clean out Mom's ears. We take her about twice a year for this. She's 92 and goes along with it ok. She says it tickles.
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CM it's fine to do the curly bits. It's the ear canal as you know that you should avoid
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The saying in ENT circles is "don't put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear."

Having said that, I do use a cotton bud (sorry Veronica!) to clean *around* the curly bits of the actual outside ear bit, not going anywhere near my mother's ear canal. It's easier on another person because you can see what you're doing.

Are your mother's ears really that gungy? If so, I'd agree that it would be better to get a professional onto it.
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A few drops of mineral oil will soften wax that has hardened in there. Personally, I would take her to the Dr. or ER and let them wash her ears out. It seems to be gentle and really does clean out the ears! My Mom was probably 80 when we did this, so talking to/seeing the Dr. first would be a good idea.
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you don't that is a job for professionals brcause it is very easy to push the wax further in if you use Q tips. You can wash the outside of the ear with soap and water, and you can buy a kit that includes some oil to put in the ear to soften the wax and a bulb syringe that you use to flush the wax out. If she can visit the Dr one of the nurses or the Dr can look in her ears and if there is a wax build up can irrigate it or you can take her to an audiologist who will do the same thing. A visit to the PCG will probably be the easiest thing to do.
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