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Serious Damage from ER Doc's Earwax Removal?

A week ago I went to the ER for an unrelated issue and mentioned that I had muffled hearing in one ear. The attending doctor was a general practitioner. She decided to clean out my ears using tools I'd never seen being used before, that may not have been designed for them.

The first was a blunt scraper tool that she stuck in my ear multiple times until she hit the eardum. It didn't get out all of the wax, and was painful, so I asked if she could use something else. The next was worse- a plastic suction tool, much bigger and more forceful than the steel micro-suction devices my ENT uses. It was so excruciating that I yelped in pain and begged for her to stop. It didn't seem like something that should've been in my ear, but I assumed that she knew what she was doing so I let her go about the procedure. Neither of the tools worked, so she then used some eardrops and irrigation, like my previous providers had used during impacted earwax removals. The wax came out with this and when she looked in my right ear, she said that I had a perforated eardrum. Surprised to see this, she diagnosed me with an ear infection. But it's possible that she herself caused it.

After this, I became unable to listen to music at any volume without pain in my ears. I've never experienced anything like this before. In the past few days, even the sound of cars passing or people speaking will now sometimes hurt as well. Additionally, I've developed tinnitus in the left ear.

I saw an ENT the other day and they didn't find significant hearing loss or see eardrum perforation. The doctor also didn't believe I had an ear infection. I didn't, however, talk too much about the procedure as at that time I didn't consider that the ER doctor could've caused me harm. I think I have what's called hyperacusis or a threshhold shift. I'm concerned that she used tools that weren't supposed to be in my ears or didn't know what she was doing, and that this won't go away. I'm involved in the music industry and this is a big problem.

Why do you think I'm experiencing this pain? I'm concerned about the possible harm that these tools, especially the latter, could've done. What kind of damage could've been caused by putting a strong suction device in the ear, and how much?
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973741 tn?1342342773
We had ear wax drama at our  house last month!  My son could not hear out of one ear.  I tried to remove myself with debrox and rinsing.  But no go.  We went to the doctor and wow, the equipment they got out to remove it!  First they tried that sonic thing. It DID hurt my son. It hurt too much to use. They go so far back. Then they had this big metal medical water shooting thing that they used.  They put two big bowls of water through his ear trying to flush out the gunk. After sitting with the drops to make it soften, they did this.  An hour of shooting water through his ear!  About 4 marble sizes of wax came out, I kid you not.  It was a bit painful. But, they also said because of the flushing that he could get swimmer's ear. He started on the swimmer's ear drops that night. Could you now have swimmer's ear?  
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I gotta tell you folks, I've had this done a lot and it sounds like the folks you're seeing are nuts!  It's not that complex.  A little stool softener, wait, some warm water flushing, and you're good.  It's not really swimmer's ear, it doesn't last that long, it just feels kind of weird sometimes.  But some who do this are very good at it and some are really bad at it.  What to avoid:  hard sprays; docs in too much of a hurry, because they don't soften it and just start picking at it which hurts, and that sort of thing.   The last bit is the hardest to get out, and that usually hurts a bit as they do have to use a tool to pick it out.  If it's a chronic problem, which is caused by allergies, don't wait too long to get it done, the longer you wait the harder it is to get it out.  The home remedies only work if there's very little problem.  A way to make it faster and easier when you do go is if you have an appointment, that's the time to use the home remedies or mineral oil; it will make it already soft when you get there.  Peace, all.
To the poster, talk to your doctor about swimmer's ear post water irrigation. It's common and your doctor can explain it to you.  Our doctor recommended debrox perhaps once or twice a month only as it is drying but recommends Sweet oil drops more often to keep the wax soft. You do not need to rinse after. But PLEASE talk to your own doctor about it. They will guide you best.
Again, as long-time veteran of this, docs can give you really bad advice on it.  One told me to put mineral oil in the ears once a month.  Same theory as the Debrox,  But if you have an allergy and that's the main cause of this, and it is one of those things that gets worse as you get older, your ears are going to continue to get clogged.  All the debrox will do is melt the outer stuff and pack in the inner stuff more often.  Been there, done that.  If it's a mild problem, the Debrox can work if you also buy an irrigating syringe but for those of us who have to go to the doc to do this, those things will just waste a lot of your time and you'll still end up in the doc's office.  Remember, you can only soften what the product can reach, and that's just the stuff on the outside, which will again pack the inner stuff tighter.  But you all are welcome to try it, I did.  The better thing for chronic problems is to find someone who knows how to do it gently and safely and keep going to that practitioner and avoid all who cause you pain.  Peace.
just giving information from my doctor from a visit less than three weeks ago.  :>))  My son is ALL good now with the help of our doctor.
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Okay, I'm the go to source for getting the wax cleaned out of one's ears.  It's been happening to me twice a year ever since I moved across the country many years ago.  And so I've had it done a whole lot of times, and sometimes they hurt you and sometimes they don't.  All those who do it use different tools, which is pretty weird.  But I've never ever had it done the way you describe -- nobody's ever just started digging in my ear.  This is how they generally do it:  first, they put something in there to loosen the wax.  This can be just hydrogen peroxide, or it can be something better which is usually stool softener.  It all depends on how much is stuck in your ear and how much it looks like it has hardened.  It may be your doc didn't think it was all that much and didn't look as if it was hardened, but obviously it was.  After the softener, they use something for irrigation, which can be a spray bottle or a more typical ear syringe.  They must use warm water because cold water makes you really really dizzy.  Given what your ENT said, your ear appears to be fine structurally and you're hearing appears to test fine as well.  I've had it done where the spray is too hard and that can cause pain for couple of days.  The tool they use has a small spoon at the end and that pulls out the stuff that has hardened too much for the softener to melt.  This is why the home remedies for this never work well, you can't see where the plug is.  A doc can.  I definitely wouldn't have that doc do it ever again.  They will sometimes give you some eardrops after.  As you age, it seems to get more likely you get dizzy and it takes longer to feel like you had it cleaned out.  Usually the classic evidence is you can now hear things you were actually happier not hearing, like your neighbor's leaf blower, at a much higher sound level and so you can't sleep anymore.  So it goes.  If it doesn't go away in a short period of time, I don't really know what you're going to do if the ENT says everything's fine, but you can always go back if things don't resolve.  Any issues I've had have always gone away in a couple of days.  Peace.
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