Introduction : Getting ear wax removed
I’ve a doctor’s appointment schedule today for 12.30pm to get ear wax removed by syringing. From what I’ve read and heard from other sufferers, getting ears cleaned can actually be the source of tinnitus and the cause of tinnitus spikes. It can lead to infection etc. should I be worried? I want to find out!
In the past, I’ve also had my ears suctioned from a very well respected doctor in Blois, France called Mr. Braconniere. http://www.clinique-blois.com/pcb/index.php/specialites/108-chirurgie-orl It’s a strange experinece but I actually find it more efficient than the syringing and a shorter procedure if slightly more uncomfortable. I actually often wondered if the noise of it in itself may affect tinnitus but never asked him!
In this article, I want to look at the comparison between both in terms of efficiency and from the point of view of a tinnitus sufferer.
This is where water, typically warm, is pumped into the ear with the objective of pushing already softened wax out. It is not very efficient with long standing, hardened wax. For this reason it is often recommended that the ear is pre-treated with a wax softener such as olive oil or waxsol.
Micro suction :
This is like a mini vacuum cleaner which simply sucks out the wax. It has a microscope so that the practitioner can see where they are working and focus on the key parts.
Pros and cons
The first thing to note is that ear wax itself is a common cause of tinnitus. Some people feel that when wax is removed for the first time in a long time that they can hear the tinnitus louder/more audible. Regardless of whether it’s microsuction or syringing, if your tinnitus is caused by ear wax then removing it by whatever means may make it louder. Some attribute a tinnitus spike to the method not to the cause.
- Syringing for many sufferers is the cause of their tinnitus.
- It can also be the cause of an infection in the likes of the middle ear.
- Syringing introduces issues regarding water which has to not contain any infection itself and has to be the correct temperature.
- Syringing is more uncomfortable due to the liquid and the manner in which it is administered.
- Syringing can inflame the ear canals and this may contribute towards temporary tinnitus or a temporary increase in tinnitus.
- There may be ‘leakage’ or discharge for a while afterwards.
- It’s quick
- It doesn’t generate loud noises
- Most GP’s have one and so you don’t need to go to a specialist
- Generally cheaper for the reason above – most GP’s can do it
- Louder than syringing and therefore has the propensity to cause tinnitus as has been the experience of a lot of users online. Eg here; https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/tinnitusforum.aspx?g=posts&m=67411. I wrote to a provider of micro suction here in Ireland and asked them about the propensity of micro suction to cause tinnitus. This is what they said;
The microsuction machine is a little bit noisy but would have no effect on your tinnitus. www.connecthearing.ie
- Can only be carried out by a specialist.
- Usually more expensive
- Carried out by a specialist
- Ear canal is visually monitored so it’s not as ‘hit and miss’ as syringing.
- Dry and no discharge after procedure.
- Because it’s more targeted and uses the microscope, it is quicker than micro suction.
There you have it, a quick post, from my experience on both syringing and micro suction. I think ultimately, I would go for micro suction over syringing all things being equal, but unfortunately all things are not equal, price and availability is a factor for me and so with the GP being the cheaper option, I go there. That said, if I can time it better, I will use the French doctor next time. He’s cheap and professional and quick and I personally have never found any tinnitus related issues from it. I also find that it’s a more ‘complete’ job.
As always, I appreciate your comments 🙂