Hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide too harsh for ears

The News-Times - - ADVICE/GAMES - Keith Roach, M.D.

Dear Dr. Roach: In a re­cent col­umn, you said that us­ing per­ox­ide in the ear is a bad home rem­edy. Would you please ex­pand on this sub­ject? My chil­dren grew up with me us­ing per­ox­ide to clean ex­ces­sive wax from their ears, and they now use the same rem­edy on my grand­chil­dren.

An­swer: Most ear­wax does not need to be re­moved. It should be re­moved only when there are symp­toms (such as poor hear­ing, ear pres­sure or pain, and some­times itch­i­ness or dizzi­ness), and when it is clear that the symp­toms are com­ing from ex­cess ear­wax. This re­quires a look in the ear, since sim­i­lar symp­toms may come from in­fec­tion.

Hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide is too harsh to put on skin. Doc­tors may use it to ir­ri­gate the ear canal while look­ing into the ear, but it is di­luted, usu­ally 1:10. Over-the-counter ear­wax prepa­ra­tions, such as car­bamide per­ox­ide, may also be rec­om­mended once the di­ag­no­sis is clear.

Dear Dr. Roach: My son is tak­ing hemp-based CBD oil for de­pres­sion. He pur­chased this at a health food store. His doc­tor pre­scribed pills that he was un­able to tol­er­ate due to sui­ci­dal thoughts. He is un­able to go out­side when tak­ing CBD. We would like to know if it will show up in a drug test as part of a job in­ter­view. Should he be tak­ing it?


An­swer: There are an­i­mal stud­ies and some pre­lim­i­nary data sug­gest­ing that cannabid­iol, a nonpsy­choac­tive sub­stance found in cannabis, might be ef­fec­tive for anx­i­ety and de­pres­sive dis­or­ders. I hope that CBD will be proven to be a use­ful treat­ment for de­pres­sion, as what we have now cer­tainly isn’t per­fect. How­ever, there are not yet high-qual­ity stud­ies sup­port­ing this use.

Most foren­sic drug test­ing uses THC and its me­tab­o­lites, so if what your son is tak­ing is truly CBD, then it should not be iden­ti­fied dur­ing test­ing as THC. There is a chance that the “CBD oil” he pur­chased has THC in it: In one study, 57% of CBD oils sold were found to have mea­sur­able THC, which would show up on a drug test. Un­for­tu­nately, 25% of the oils con­tained no CBD at all.

I re­main con­vinced that th­ese drugs, THC and CBD, need to be prop­erly stud­ied, and when found to be use­ful, tested for pu­rity and con­tent in the same way as phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

Dr. Roach Writes: I re­ceived a lot of mail from read­ers about a col­umn in which a reader de­scribed re­al­is­tic hal­lu­ci­na­tions upon awak­en­ing. I was con­cerned about Lewy body dis­ease, a form of de­men­tia with prom­i­nent vis­ual hal­lu­ci­na­tions. The most com­mon con­di­tion read­ers were con­cerned about was Charles Bon­net syn­drome, a type of vis­ual hal­lu­ci­na­tion found in peo­ple with vi­sion loss. It’s not well known, so I was sur­prised that so many peo­ple wrote to me about it, par­tic­u­larly when the orig­i­nal let­ter didn’t say any­thing about vi­sion loss.

The an­swer, as di­ag­nosed by my reader’s neu­rol­o­gist, turned out to be hypnopom­pic hal­lu­ci­na­tions (hyp­n­a­gogic hal­lu­ci­na­tions are a sim­i­lar is­sue, but th­ese oc­cur upon fall­ing asleep). M.O., a sleep tech­ni­cian, and P.W. from Cal­i­for­nia wrote to me with the same di­ag­no­sis. Th­ese can oc­cur in sleep ap­nea, which sev­eral peo­ple wrote about, and sev­eral said treat­ment stopped th­ese hal­lu­ci­na­tions. They can also be as­so­ci­ated with neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­ease, such as Parkin­son’s dis­ease, Guil­lain-Barre syn­drome and nar­colepsy.

Read­ers may email ques­tions to: ToYourGood­[email protected] .cor­nell.edu or mail ques­tions to 628 Vir­ginia Dr., Or­lando, FL 32803.

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