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British Tinnitus Association
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Just looking for information


I'm just looking for any information or advice anyone can give thank you.

I have never had any problems at all with my hearing at all, last December I contracted quite a heavy cold which lasted for a couple of weeks, a symptom of this was heavy congestion. For a few days I was completely blocked up and noticed a whistling noise in my right ear, after a few days when the congestion eased the noise stopped. A couple of months later I felt my right ear totally bunged up, a full feeling with a loss of hearing and sharp stabbing pains, also a slight whistling noise, after a week I visited the doctor who told me I had a big hard ball of wax lodged deep in my ear. He gave me drops to put in and told me to give it a week if there was no improvement to return for possible irrigation. The drops did bring some wax out that was hard dry and black, this over the week became brown and soft, my hearing was better but still muffled and I still had the slight whistle sound. Another look inside my ear and I was told there was a lot of muck in there, I had the irrigation carried out, another look in and it wasn't all clear so I had a further treatment. My ear is now totally clear, the pain and full feeling has totally gone. I noticed the slight whistle sound was still present and mentioned it, I was told as well as this which should improve I could feel slightly off balance which I did. Now everything is fine except for the slight whistle noise, sometimes I think its gone and find myself trying to hear it and there it is. Its not really loud but you know its there. So my question is was this caused by the wax build up? is it a known symptom of wax build up? Do I need further investigation? Or like someone I work with could it be temporary? Ive been told I have no hearing loss. Many thanks for any advice.

5 Replies

I think many people have very mild tinnitus and only notice it very occasionally. That was the case with myself until it became very loud and intrusive over the course of a few days. I think in your case your tinnitus wasn't caused by wax build up but that did cause your hearing to be impaired which in turn meant that your mild tinnitus was much more noticeable as you were hearing less ambient noise which would normally have masked your tinnitus sound. It's also possible that you may have had an ear infection which may also have raised your tinnitus. Now that your hearing is back to normal you have already found that it's much less noticeable. You must try to ignore it completely and not to keep listening for it. I believe it's still possible it could go altogether. I think I read somewhere that it is regarded as being permanent after a period of 6 months.



Thanks for that i was wondering if i might have some other underlying cause like an infection in the inner ear. I sometimes get an itch or very slight ache which dosnt last long. I was thinking about getting another check as i read leaving it could make things worse. Strangely it seems less prominent at night when everything is quieter. Also if i bite down hard it sound as if air is being expelled. Hopefully its not perminent. I didnt realise it could be classes as such after 6 months. Thanks again.


Hello there

It sounds to me if you might have an ear infection I had the same problem myself wax removed through irrigation water still in my inner ear didn’t come out developed an ear infection cleared the infection the wax came back cleared the wax the infection came back and this is how it went on eventually it was sorted out.

I suggest going back to your GP to have another look to see what’s going on if it is still causing you problems ENT can help because you are hearing these sounds doesn’t mean you have Tinnitus it might just be an infection or wax is starting to build up again in your inner ear small steps first.

Good health



Thanks i will get it checked out. Ive got an itch in the ear at the moment.


Just thought I would update. I went back to the GP who looking into my ear asked a few questions and said he expects the noise to disappear within two weeks as he reckons its caused by the pressure that was put on the eardrum during the wax build up that I suffered for a couple of weeks, he gave me a spray to use twice a day for the next two weeks to help the eardrum to settle and if it does continue to return. I note the spray is used to treat ear infections of which I don't have. Have to say im not convinced, im into my third week two of those was when the ear was totally blocked, its five days after the ear irrigation and I have noticed that during the day it does appear to revert into the background after being more prominent on waking, and is not troubling me at night just a hiss/slight whistle sound. The other morning I woke up and couldn't hear it, I made the big mistake of then concentrating to see if I could hear it and lo and behold after an hour or so there it was. That proves what people say about not paying it any attention but its hard to do. I work with somebody who had this condition along with menieres disease and he said he just got used to it, luckily for him his stopped. One odd thing in his case he was told he had a percentage of hearing loss and that when hearing loss is present it cannot be reversed. He then says he was told at the hospital his hearing had come back which shocked the doctors. Gives hope to everybody that their condition can improve even against whats considered the norm.

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