Friday, 16 November 2012

Have you heard....Wax removal

In may I posted about ear wax and told you that  

"Earwax is a waxy material that is produced by sebaceous glands inside the ear. It cleans, lubricates and protects the lining of the ear by trapping dirt and repelling water. 

Earwax is slightly acidic and has antibacterial properties. Without earwax, the skin inside your ear would become dry, cracked, infected or waterlogged and sore."


"Earwax can usually be removed using ear drops. If ear drops don't work, another treatment called ear irrigation may be recommended. It involves using a pressurised flow of water to remove the build-up of earwax."


On a regular basis in fact I give advice about the treatment of ear wax and what should be expected if a client has a blockage, even how it is removed and what it feels like, and yet I had never had a wax blockage nor had I had wax removed; that was until today!

Around 2 weeks ago I started to have temporary blockages of my left ear whilst laying in bed, this would quickly "pop" open and my hearing was restored each time on that ear within a few seconds.

Then on Monday morning I woke up to find that I had no hearing in my left ear, and when I spoke to my wife my voice was echo-like (something my clients would describe as having your head in a bucket) I waited a few minutes, had a shower; using warm water to try and free the occlusion, but to no end.

I have had a slight build up in this ear for a long time, know idea why, possibly an infection I hadn't been aware of causing over production of fluids starting the inevitable. I have never sought treatment, because it had never caused me a problem, as it probably wont for many people; completely unaware that their ears are on the brink of closing up shop.

So my first stop was the chemist, we stock ear wax preventer but that wouldn't be strong enough for this, so Otex it was. Otex is hydrogen peroxide amongst other things, it dissolves the ear wax layer by layer.

Whilst blocked up I took the opportunity to come to terms with how my clients must feel; friends sitting on the left of me had no chance of a decent conversation, and outside amongst traffic noise I found myself trying to lip read, and concentrating so hard on what was being said. The worst environment was coaching at the Rowing club 40+ children, rowing machines, other coaches shouting and music in the background; my hearing distance was reduced to literally a few inches.

Unfortunately Otex didn't do the job, and so I got to experience removal first hand also. Booking an appointment was surprisingly easy, phoning on Thursday I was booked in the next morning with the nurse. (Usually they would like you to see a doctor first)

In anticipation I had been applying oil to lubricate since the start of the blockage otherwise I may have had to wait another week. The "remover" was a hand held pressurised water "probe" inserted into the ear the pressure simply mixes up any debris and forces it out. All in all it was quite a pleasant procedure, with the  sudden release of sound feeling very satisfying.

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