Today, the audiologist became the patient! This past week I noticed my left ear was popping. At one point I pushed on my ear to try and open it up, only to realize I had made it worse…I could not hear out of that ear! I was able to open it back up by pulling on my ear lobe, but knew something was not quite right. I came into the office and told Nancy she needed to look in my ear because something was not right. She found an ear canal completely blocked with wax!
Since I kind of already knew something was not right, I had dropped a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in my ear the night before. This helped loosen the wax. She first tried to remove the wax with an otolight, which is an instrument we use that has a light and a loop on the end of it. This allows us to scoop wax out of ear canals. She was able to remove a good amount of wax, but still could not see my eardrum! Next came the ear flushing.
Now, Nancy & I have both had our ears flushed before, just to know what it felt like. However, having your ear flushed with no wax in your canal is very different from having it flushed with a plug of wax present! I have a new appreciation for the ear flushing process! There was more pressure and although it was not painful, I was quite certain water was going to squirt out of my nose! After a few flushes, she was able to scoop out the remaining wax. Whew! Click below to see my ear being flushed by Nancy!!
When that much water is going directly into the ear canal, there is always a chance the patient will experience dizziness. I got to experience that as well! After she was finished flushing, I had to sit for a while to let the dizziness subside. And I have to admit, when Nancy was scooping the wax out, it was definitely uncomfortable. It was my trust in her, as well as my knowledge as an audiologist that she was not near my eardrum, that allowed me to know she was not going to damage my eardrum.
How will you know if you have a plug of wax in your ear canal?
Here are some symptoms that wax is blocking the canal or touching the eardrum: