Ringing Ears After Ear Wax Removal (Syringing) — Do I Have Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Now?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Mr_Orange_3737, Aug 23, 2020.

    1. Mr_Orange_3737

      Mr_Orange_3737 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earwax syringing removal
      I've been reading this forum for the last 3 weeks and I realize my tinnitus is low. It's the 'I can hear it in quiet rooms' type. Mines is also the type that fluctuates constantly and is very relative to stress and sleepiness. If I hold my right ear closed, I can hear the high pitched sound louder on the right. I knew very little about this before and I'm amazed at the endurance that some people have to go through. Best of luck to everyone.

      I'm going to get right into specific questions but I also included a detailed timeline of how it all unfolded and all the little nuances at the end of this in case anyone's interest.

      I did do the audiogram part of a hearing test already (no tympanometry or speech testing yet and I'll explain why further down). No hearing loss was found but one ENT noted that the graph line shouldn't waiver as much as it did and this could be related to Eustachian tube issues.

      1) For people who had their tinnitus start after ear wax syringing, did you then get diagnosed with Eustachian tube problems after? Or does syringing cause a different type of tinnitus problem?

      It's been almost 3 weeks now since it started. I've seen 2 doctors, 2 ENTs, and 2 audiologists. Most were surprised and denied that ear syringing (even without ear drops) had anything to do with tinnitus. The most consistent thing they all mentioned was that this looks like Eustachian tube dysfunction in my right ear and my own monitoring of this over the weeks seems to confirm it too. The last ENT said my right eardrum looks recessed. I've been doing Valsalva and noticed inconsistencies in the popping. There's a general sense of fullness in my right ear. Yesterday, I drove down a mountain road and paid attention to how the elevation change naturally affects it. My left ear pops but not the right. If I hold my right ear closed, it sounds like the high pitched sounds are for sure from the right side. Holding the left, I just hear a low deep hum.

      2) Is it really Eustachian tube dysfunction if there's even some popping at all during Valsalva?

      I want to really make sure my symptoms seem like Eustachian tube ones before proceeding with typical solutions. Most times, my left ear fully pops and my right side half pops. Swallowing seems to also make my let side crackle. The weird thing is there's lots of fluctuation. Sometimes it evens out. The fullness feeling is mostly there but sometimes leave too. I went on a hike today and it seemed like the hot weather might've made the the fullness feeling go away Would real Eustachian tube dysfunction have this much fluctuation?

      3) Should I even be doing valsalva?

      Some people here say it's worsened their condition. I've been doing it on the ENT's suggestion (10 times morning + 10 times night). At night I do it after nasal spray. I also take antihistamines and have been for a year because I have allergies. I've heard of 2 different Valsalva methods: 1) hold nose and blow out nose, then yawn 2) hold nose and mouth and blow out mouth, then yawn. 2nd way seems a bit stronger. Which one is correct? I've been careful about not doing it too hard.

      4) I've been prescribed Prednisone for the Eustachian issue.

      Should I do it? Results vary based on feedback from this forum. You can tell that I'm trying to be extra careful now about every move since I really didn't think ear syringing had any red flags.

      5) Should I take tympanometry?

      The place I went to strangely said they only had the audiogram test at their particular location. Before I went looking for a place that had it, I researched this board and a lot of people recommend against it saying it caused/spiked their tinnitus. Tympanometry helps diagnose Eustachian tube dysfunction which is why it's directly relevant. However, do you think there are already enough clear signs that I have Eustachian tube dysfunction? Is there an alternative to tympanometry?

      Full story:

      ~7/27/2020: I woke up one morning sleeping on my side (not typical, I'm a back sleeper) to a sharp high pitched tinnitus (8/10) in my left ear accompanied by some deafness which completely went away in 1 minute after walking around. There was one short spike in the following week but nothing else.

      Previous ear issues and experiences with wax removal: I've had previous left ear issue but never prolonged tinnitus. 3 year ago, I noticed itchiness and my soft wax turning hard (now both ears have hard wax). That first time I tried a self ear drops which muted my left ear and led me to the urgent care where they dropped/syringed again and cleaned out a bunch of wax. Everything was fine. 1 year later, I felt a similar wax build-up and had wax vacuumed out by an ENT. Also fine.

      ~4pm 8/4/2020: I went in to get my ears checked thinking that short morning tinnitus must be wax related. The nurse said that the person on the phone should've told me to prepare drops 3 days in advance before a cleaning but said it's fine to do it without drops too. I wasn't even sure if they were going to clean anything; I thought they were just having a look first. They syringed the left twice and the right once and also plucked something out on the right with a tool. The left took longer for water to release. The right had a slight pain during the cleaning but nothing significant that lingered.

      ~10pm 8/4/2020: I had a fast food fried chicken meal for dinner and then started some stretching. I heard a tinnitus spike this time specifically in my right (7/10) which quickly descended to a (3/10) but stayed there and never went away. I tried drinking and also took an edible marijuana which didn't help. I couldn't fall asleep that first night. After falling asleep the next night: The sound went down to the current (~2 / 10) that it currently is now, the 'only in quiet rooms' phase.

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