Tinnitus for 10 Days After Using a Toothpick to Remove Earwax — Is There Hope?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by neliath, Jan 8, 2021.

    1. neliath

      neliath Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi there,

      About 10 days ago, my ears felt full so I wanted try and remove some wax by myself. Didn't have any q tips, so I decided to use a toothpick and be careful (stupid, I know... so stupid). I didn't go deep, but as I was digging in my left ear I heard some popping, as if my ear canal opened up a bit. I also hit my outer ear canal a bit, there was some minor pain, so I stopped. But that's when tinnitus began in my left ear.

      Didn't think much of it, thought it would stop. It's a high pitched sound, a lot like the sound of an old TV when there's no channel.

      That evening, my hearing on the left ear was a bit distorted. Higher frequencies sounded a bit off, but my hearing went back to normal the next day, shrugged it off as wax impaction. After a few days, tinnitus didn't stop, so I got worried. I went to my dad, who is a family doctor (GP), and he said my ears were full of wax and that there is some fungal inflammation. His nurse syringed my ear, removed the wax, put the peroxide in and after that some anti-inflammation tape that I kept in my ear for 24 hours. He thought tinnitus and sound distortion was caused by impacted wax, but wax removal did absolutely nothing to my tinnitus.

      Three days ago I removed this anti-inflammation thing from my ear, and the next day tinnitus subsided to 1/10 for a day. I thought it's going away, almost couldn't hear it anymore. But yesterday and today, it back to it's usual 4/10. My dad checked my ear again today, and he said my ear is very clean and the ear drum is "as clear as the sky on a sunny day" - no sign of damage. There is, however, a small wound on my outer ear canal (very likely from the toothpick), but that it's unlikely that this is the cause of tinnitus.

      I can't stop thinking about it, it makes me very anxious and depressed, I can't believe such a small stupid thing would ruin my silence forever.

      Taking care of my ears now, no headphones or loud music, but I'd give anything for it to go away...
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Drachen

      Drachen Member

      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Hey there, neliath. It really sucks to hear that you've had this happen.

      I'm legitimately impressed you were able to get a toothpick into your ear! Just the thought of that makes me shudder a bit. It's a bit hypocritical for me to say, as I was a chronic user of cotton swabs, but the wood being so pointy...

      It's very possible you may have accidentally perforated your eardrum or caused some other trauma to your ear canal. While I do not challenge what your father saw, I would recommend seeing an ENT specifically to evaluate your ear. I have seen many cases where family doctors will evaluate a ear and determine it to be fine only for a specialist to find something else. You may also want to bring up the inflammation as that could be occuring in your middle ear as well.
      I am currently having to deal with situations like this myself. It sucks, and there's still hope for both of us that it may go away since it's very recent. I wish I had any answers for this myself, as each day is different and it feels like I'm on a rollercoaster of emotion.

      Certainly hope you stop suffering from this as soon as possible.
    3. AUTHOR

      neliath Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Thank you for your kind words.

      I'm pretty sure the ear drum was not perforated by the toothpick as I didn't go deep enough. The ear drum is about 2.5 cm deep, I didn't go nearly as deep.

      Today it's gotten louder, the TV doesn't mask it, it's driving me nuts :(

Share This Page