Should an ENT Even Suggest Ear Vacuum Cleaning?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Jacob83, Sep 17, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Jacob83

      Jacob83 Member

      Location:
      Wisconsin
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud headphones
      Today I went to an ENT to have my ears checked out. Super nice lady, lots of knowledge on tinnitus to my surprise (I'm not ageist, but she couldn't have been older than 28 and I like my medical workers OLD and have seen everything.) I talked to her about my noise induced tinnitus I've had since I was a teenager and she talked my ear off a bit about how many younger people she keeps seeing about tinnitus (sigh.) She checked my ears and said both were REALLY clogged with wax and said she'd vacuum them out, but it would be loud. I said, "Oh, HELL NO" and said "Ok, ok, not a problem. I'll do it the slow, quiet way." and did a manual cleaning. Holy crap, there was so much gunk. She scrapped so much out. My tinnitus hasn't dropped or anything since, but DAMN, can I hear a whole lot better.

      Anyway, what the hell is with the ear vaccum cleaning? If it's loud that means it could be damaging, right? Granted, I worry too much and no offense to her, but why even suggest it to someone with tinnitus if there's quiet, safe ways to do it?
       
    2. Michael B

      Michael B Member

      I think you did the right thing but surprised that your T didn't seem a little lower now that you can hear better.
       
    3. Coyotesheaven
      Depressed

      Coyotesheaven Member

      Location:
      Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Dysautonomia/Vascular
      @Jacob83

      The fact that you were given an option beforehand astounds me, and that the woman was so nice to you as well! Many ents I have visited don't even ask and attempt to hold me down and go right to the suctioning. Even if I have just told them that I am very vulnerable to loud noise, that I get vertigo from loud noise, and that I get screeching T from loud noise, some simply don't give two sh**ts.
      I got out of it with insistent pleading once, but I wasn't lucky the first time around.
      This is pretty typical behavior in ENT offices where they seem completely ignorant that they can be dealing with patients who have pre-existing T or H. They talk far too loud, they use acoustic reflex tests without giving you a warning, they shove things down your ears without telling you. It's a get you in get you out quick deal and it's absolutely abusive in some cases.

      Of course, back when my ears were healthy the noise was not a problem. In general, however, I do view the suction noise as dangerous even for people with healthy ears. There should be a warning about the noise levels, and there should be verbally expressed option to perform a manual wax removal, especially for those with pre-existing T or H. They should honestly even post the decibel level of that super high frequency suction sound...I am quite sure it is not pretty, and that it would scare people with good ears into getting the manual cleaning.
       
    4. Jacob83

      Jacob83 Member

      Location:
      Wisconsin
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud headphones
      @Michael B
      Yeah, I know. It's more like hearing cleaner around my T now. Oh well, at least it's something.

      @Coyotesheaven
      So, is it really that loud then? I can't imagine having to plead to them not to do something you don't want them to do. That's awful. They're there to HELP us. Jeeze. Reminds me of the audiologist I saw years ago that scorned me for listening to my headphones loudly. I was depressed as hell and the guy just had to have me feel a little bit more like crap. My ENT told me everything she was going to do before she did it. I guess I was lucky. Honestly, I wasn't familiar with manual cleaning before this. At first I thought she meant she was going to use a syringe with water, and I was a bit terrfied when she said she was going to insert a tool to pull out the wax. Anxiety at 10 during that, but all was well
       
    5. bill 112
      Studious

      bill 112 Member

      Location:
      Republic Of Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Between the years 2012 and 2013 I had my ears suctioned every few months or so,I've narrow ear canals so the wax would constantly clog up against my ear drum causing me horrible pain everytime I swallowed.My ear drum would hit the wax too spiking my T with nearly every swallow so I found myself in a catch 22 situation,do I leave it alone and possibly make things worse or do I get my ears cleaned?I did try all the home remedies but to no avail so I eventually gave in and made an appointment.The first time was pure hell!The doctor was a complete idiot leaving the suction in my ears for ages to where I got up and said no more!He assured me it wasn't doing any damage but I didn't believe him.Eventuslly I found another clinic and this time it was a nice polite quite old lady.She started the procedure and I asked her to stop as it was uncomfortable.Now here's the funny part none of these Ents tell you,she just simply said"ok I'll put it on a lower setting and see how that is"and it was perfect!It was still a tad noisy but NOTHING compared to what the ENT put me through,nothing!I continued going to this woman for the next two years with zero issues,getting my ears cleaned after a build up would always drop my T in half so naturally it was worth my attention.Two years later I went to the clinic again and was saddened to see she wasn't there,apparently she was on holidays and seeing as my ear was blocked completely with Christmas around the corner it was disappointing to say the least.I walked into the room and was greeted by a doctor who hadn't a lick of English,he could barely understand a word I was saying when I was explaining that I had Tinnitus,he just nodded and pretended like he understood me.He started the procedure as noisy as hell and I stopped him numerous times telling him to quieten it down to which he responded"impossible,no no impossible"I then attempted to explain that if the lady could do it then so could he but he just pretended to turn it down and kept on going.I left the office and my T was spiking like crazy making things sound distorted and fuzzy.It was there and then I swore never to do it again,the hard part for me is that manual cleaning can't be done for me,all the ENTs are petrified to do it because the wax is right on my eardrum and the risk of rupturing it is too high.Now I just put olive oil in my ears everyday and just hope I don't get a blockage.

      Moral of the story,it can be done quietly just ENTs are too lazy to turn it down which will take more time out of their precious schedule.Also they can change the nozzles on these,a thin one makes for more of a screechy noise and is quicker,but there's also a wide one that is half as noisy but is more awkward to use according to the lady that cleaned my ears,ENTs don't actually care what happens,they just want you in and out as quick as possible.
       
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