I'm 21 and I've never had earwax problems until about a year ago.
In the past month, I've had what I believe to be ear infections (or maybe just hardened earwax) in one ear and then 2 weeks later, the other ear. They are extremely painful, and I've been taking pain killers. This has severely effected my work.
Sometimes when I poke my finger into my ear and scrape with my fingernail, large chunks of ear wax comes out. I don't remember this every happening when I was younger.
I'm trying to learn more about how I can prevent this by understanding how I should treat my ears in order to prevent this from happening in the future.
I've been cleaning the hole in my ear with my wash cloth which has soap on it using a single finger. Is this bad? Will this actually increase the amount of earwax or possibly the soap mixes with the ear wax in some way leaving infection prone residue in my ear? Should I just try to not get soap or water in my ear? I've also noticed that I have these problems when I was using Dove soap, which I've always felt the residue burns the skin. Or are the hypotheses totally wrong, and it's just normal for some people to get a ton of earwax.