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British Tinnitus Association
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Can Ear Wax Really Cause Tinnitus Or Make It Sound Worse?

I went for an hearing test a few weeks ago and when my ears were examined I was told I have impacted wax. I was offered micro suction but having experience it in the past there was no way I was going to have that performed again. I was wondering if anyone had impacted wax and having had it removed lessened the sound of their tinnitus?

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I wouldn't want to say, because someone wrote on a tinnitus forum that after having an ear irrigation performed by an ENT specialist, their tinnitus got worse. According to the NHS website, an ear irrigation is a quick and painless procedure where an electric pump is used to push water into your ear and wash the earwax out. The person on the forum wrote that the forcefulness of this procedure made their tinnitus worse. I think I was going to consider that at some point, anything to reduce tinnitus! But their story put me off.

However an ear irrigation is a lot different from microsuction, so perhaps it will help. According to NHS again, a microsuction is a quick and painless procedure where a small device is used to suck the earwax out of your ear. I wish I knew the the likelihood of tinnitus increasing after this two procedures.

Did ear wax cause your tinnitus or do you know/suspect what did cause it?

How loud is your tinnitus?

I'm sorry you are having to go through this. Tinnitus is a living nightmare! I hope you manage to make a well-informed choice, which you are satisfied with.

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these two procedures* I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help!

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irrigation caused my tinnitus.

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That is why I will not have it performed Yogibear.

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I believe irrigation /syringing method is no longer performed due to risk.

Vacuuming/ microsuction is the practice now.

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It certainly is still performed!

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If it is, then I would refuse it. It's not done by our health authority. Method now is suction.

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too late for me.

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Thank you Jasmineam for the reply. I have had a hissing sound mostly in the left ear since 93 which as never been loud enough to cause me too much concern, most days I didn't give much thought to it. But, since Aug of this year I have had like a fast beating sound and sometimes a buzzing sound, again mostly in the right ear. I know I am all clogged up with wax and trying to remove it my self. My doctor said wax wouldn't cause tinnitus but else where on the internet says it can. I have noticed if I put a glass over my ear it reduces the beating sound quite considerably. I guess it is just best to take one day at a time.

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Irrigation is not supposed to be used anymore.

The current practice, I understand, is suction / vacuum. Safer.

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Personally, if it were me, I would rather use olive ear drops to get rid of the wax than have someone else put an instrument near my ear and possibly make my already severe tinnitus worse. But then, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

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A build up of earwax can cause tinnitus. Microsuction is one of the best methods of removing compacted earwax. However, it is important that you use eardrops 3x a day for 7 to 10 days before having the procedure and the same applies when have irrigation or having the wax removed manually by curette. Please click on the link to read my post. healthunlocked.com/bta/post...

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Thank you Michaelee, I have had microsuction once in the past, I will never have it performed again, the sound of it was horrendous.

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Michael you don't need to overuse putting olive oil in your ears, before microsuctioned I only put it in once a day before bedtime before I get my ears, microsuctioned otherwise you end up with the oil sitting in your ears as my therapist as told me he is sucking out residential oil just in your ear canal but each to their own way of choice. David

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Hi Crocketbear,

I was advised by my ENT doctor and GP to use eardrops 3 times a day before having microsuction or irrigation, for 7 to 10 days before having the earwax removed.

Using oil once a day is not enough. You risk your tinnitus getting worse if you do not use the eardrops 3x a day for 7 to 10days.

It isn't a matter of "each to their own". Please follow the advice that I've given you as you risk having problems.

Michael

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I get my ears, microsuctioned several times, a year I have, never used that amount and, as, often each day I just went yesterday and the, oil I put in the night before was still in my ear which had to be sucked out with my wax, but as I said each person does it what works for them .

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Coming a bit late to this, as I've been on leave - but there's our recommendations about ear wax removal at tinnitus.org.uk/ear-wax

Michael - you do have some sensible advice, but I have to say, our advice re: ear drops is different, and more like crocketbear's

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Hi,I started getting ringing in ear 18 days ago went to the doctor and he said I had alot of ear wax and he believes that is what was causing my tinnitus. I wore ear plugs to bed for 10 years.i got wax out on Tuesday but ringing is still there.must add not as loud but still there constant, should the ringing not have stopped once wax was taken out.audioauligist said ear will take time to settle. I really don't know

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Did it ever get better. I'm in the same position. It's been around 10 days.

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Hi markus,

I only had ringing in left ear before I got wax out but I had it removed in both ears because both ears were blocked according to the person taking out the wax.but I only had left ear softened.i shouldn't have let them take anything out of the right ear because it started the day after.but to answer your question it does die down.i had mine well calmed down until hayfever season started.my noise at the minute is pretty loud, so I think I have allergy to something.but I caused my whole problem wearing ear plugs for years and was pushing wax in. So things for you definitely will get better.i hope you well.

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I’ve had Tinnitus for over 25 years & it was originally caused by a nurse doing a pretty clumsy syringe to remove ear wax. I find that congestion really does impact the level of noise so I always try to keep my ears as clear as possible; not through syringing but with drops. I never put anything chemical in my ears, I use sodium bicarbonate ear drops - as recommended by an audiology specialist many years ago.

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Thank you Philomena, its given something to think about.

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Have to agree with Philomena I use the same, couple of drops in each ear once a week and I've have no problem with wax build up

Dave

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Microsuction has got to be the best method - it's quick, a bit noisy, but totally painless .....and the head noise should be less afterwards as the blocked ear canal is now open. This, of course, also applies to syringing which is a method I now avoid. Tinnitus is usually caused from within the skull - in the audiological nerve system - not through the outer, middle and inner mechanics. Earol is a good product to keep any accumulating wax soft.

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Thank you Berry

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I had my ears irrigated around a year ago and was left with Hyperacusis in my right ear. I got told afterwards that if one ear was impacted with more wax than the other the brain tries to compensate by making the mote impacted ear more sensitive to sound than the less impacted ear,result hypersensitive hearing In one ear.

Go private if you can afford to get the wax problem sorted, the NHS don't care and in many cases the practice nurses who use irrigation treatment for wax are oblivious to the long term damage they are inflicting on patients hearing by wax removal

And,yes, Tinnitus can happen if your wax plugs are significant in both or in one Ear. Go private and get the wax scraped out gently and with great care. If I could turn back the clock I,d go private in a heartbeat.

Hyperacusis is a serious condion so be careful. I have Tinnitus but it was not down to wax

Best Wishes

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Thanks starshine, I asked the consultant a few weeks back when I had an ENT appointment if he could scrape the wax out, which is the method I would prefer, but he said it would cause too much pain. I guess I will just keep on using the ear drops for the time being.

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I will just give my experience. My tinnitus went really bad due to wax build-up. I was told to use olive oil and after 2 weeks referred to hospital ENT for microsuction. It was a bit noisy but I knew it was removing the wax.

Nurse cleared one ear, but she reached hard wax in the other. So I was sent away to use more olive oil. Next appointment got rid of all the wax.

Note. I found the noise wasn't constantly loud, once wax was sucked - it was quieter as she removed it from ear.

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Thanks moogle, I was asked to use olive oil when I had an appointment to see the consultant at the ENT, so maybe I will try it instead of what I am using at the moment.

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when you get microsuction done, speak out as soon as it feels a bit uncomfortable. Microsuction when wax isn't soft enough seems to lead to problems

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GP presribed Oliver oil first for my husband.

Gently warm bottle in pocket first for a while. If you can lie on each side for at least 5 minutes after, best. Persevere twice a day for a week or more , depending how bad.

x🐥

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I did it with cold olive oil. 3 times a day. Bottle also recommended not to use cotton wool plugs since they absorb the oil. So lay a bit longer and just dabbed away any excess that came out.

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Hi Alan I regularly have, my ears microsuctioned I don't have a problem with it apart from. A little disiness which I sit for a minute then I'm okay sometimes while I am have, the micro suction

If my therapist goes a bit near my inner ear I get a, little discomfort but he says tell him. And he stops he is very good he will and careful not to do any damage he uses sterile water to clean my ears, I would sooner have that than syringing as that can affect your tinnitus if you regularly put olive oil in. Every week. It should keep the wax at bay but some people make more wax than. Others,. David

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Thank you for all the replies.

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Hi Alan yes it does make it worse I had, my ear microsuctioned after 2 days, of high tinnitus and as soon as my wax was removed my tinnitus reduced within seconds having compacted wax make your tinnitus more pronounced the answer is don't let wax build up regularly put in olive oil at least once, if not twice a week some people make more wax than others of which I do so I will be religiously putting oil in rather than go through the misery of getting bunged ears .David

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Thanks David, I have now removed some of the impacted wax and have noticed that my tinnitus has improved quite a bit. I may consider using olive oil from now on to keep the wax from building up again.

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Coming a bit late to this, as I've been on leave - but there's our recommendations about ear wax removal at tinnitus.org.uk/ear-wax

Michael - you do have some sensible advice, but I have to say, our advice re: ear drops is different, and more like crocketbear's

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I clean my ears twice a week with peroxide

So the wax does not build up. I do not pour the peroxide I dip the q-tip in it then clean my ears gently.

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I got tinnitus after an Ear syringe .ENT specialist. This caused middle Ear infection and tinnitus came. I had a throat infection at the same time.

Bad timing!

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