Ear Wax and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Welsher, Oct 25, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Welsher

      Welsher Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Hey all, looking for a little insight.

      I'm 20 years old and I work in a healthcare department which has an audiology clinic too (yeah, yeah - why am I not asking them) - back in May I had a quick hearing health check with them and the audiologist looked in my ear and couldn't see my left ear drum because it was covered by wax. I can't seem to recall having tinnitus at that point because i'd never really been somewhere where there was an actual absence of sound, like the soundproof rooms they have (I read a study which indicated that most people hear some sort of noise in a 'soundproof' room). He recommended the usual spiel, olive oil drops - but I never followed up because... well I couldn't be arsed and didn't think it was important because my hearing was still average for my age group, wish I had a better excuse.

      In April I attended a gig with my band (first ever, i'm rarely exposed to loud noises, i'll wear earplugs in the future) it wasn't uncomfortably loud, there was no pain but when I got home - that's when I noticed the tinnitus. I'm pretty sure I had a temporary threshold shift (muffling) which went after a day but the ringing continued and has stuck with me since. I admit the first month or so it pissed me off, woke me up in the early hours of the morning some nights but i've dealt with it quite well, i'm not a very anxious kinda person and I sleep like a baby with no background noise to mask the T - It's masked by most everyday sounds though, either that or I don't notice it because i'm not actively searching for it.

      Anyway I went back to the audiologist shortly after that gig, only thing he could recommend is to keep with the drops to see if earwax was the issue (or failing that to hope that it was only temporary). So I stuck with them, used them twice a day for less than a week, then left it for a week or two and got hydrogen peroxide drops used those a couple of times too.

      Fast forward a month and I mention the earwax blockage/tinnitus in passing to my GP, so she looks inside my ears and says it's all clear, great; drops must of worked - although it's a bummer that the cause of the tinnitus seemed to certainly therefore be due to acoustic trauma - I just accepted her observations and continued life as normal until a few days ago, where I notice that the muffled feeling is present again and the T has seemingly got louder to the point where I can hear it over the sound of the computer fan or the engines of the train when I catch it to work in the morning - still though it doesn't bother me all that much and it's masked by most everyday sounds and I can only hear it on the train if I search real hard for it (I haven't been exposed to loud noises since April so I very much doubt it's another threshold shift caused by more damage). I also came to notice that the T wasn't coming from the center of my head as often experienced with acoustic trauma, it was coming from my left ear, the one with more wax build up, though it is present in my right too I think.

      So today, out of interest I go in for another quick 15 minute hearing health check because I want to know if I lost any hearing ability - the audiologist takes a look in both my ears and they're crammed with wax to the point where he can't see my eardrums - the drops he said, didn't do jack shit and the GP was talking out of her arse! He said there was no way that build up could have happened in a few months due to the density and colour of it, so he's given me a letter to take to my GP so that they can refer me to the hospital for syringing (GP doesn't do syringing). It's got me hopeful that after all, the T may be at least in part to do with the ear wax build up and that the fact it started after the gig might have been coincidence. No loss either by the way, although those tests aren't as accurate as the ones the ENT's do. Anyway, that was all just to give you context;

      TL;DR

      Could ear wax left on it's own to build up cause permanent damage in the form of more intense tinnitus? If so i'm gonna have a few words with that fucking GP of mine.

      Thanks in advance, sorry for writing my life story.
       
    2. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      I haven't heard of wax in itself causing a permanent increase. For me, the syringing procedure caused chronic tinnitus in the first place, but it seems to be a very rare occurrence and I must've had bad luck.

      Of course a blocked ear can make tinnitus seem (way) more intense.

      But once cleared out, you should see it go down to the baseline level.

      Any idea how long you have to wait until you can get the wax out?

      Good luck.
       
    3. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      I would have an ent suction it out carefully. Dont syringe it.
       
    4. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @SoulStation

      Why would you not have it syringed and only suctioned?
       
    5. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      Well most repuatable ENT dont use that method to get out wax as far as i know. Its also been blamed in a few t cases... More then a few. I used to do it all the time. Its a blind procedure.
       

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