When Earwax can be so annoying
As far as I can remember, I started to have my ear flushed quite regularly back in 2007. Then after that, I kept coming back to the doctor at least once every 6 months for the same thing: getting my ear flushed.
It’s usually a quick process (albeit a bit painful), so I never thought of having a preventive action (even after 8 years, sigh); but the last two weeks have been so bad I almost couldn’t hear anything through my left ear. I have been applying an earwax solution for the last one week, although it’s kinda sporadic. But there’s no major improvement. So I decided to go for a check with GP.
(btw, in Singapore, a doctor that is not a specialist yet usually called General Practitioner, hence the ‘GP’ abbreviation)
First GP Visit – 070415
I took off from work earlier so I could go to the clinic near my place. It’s covered by my insurance, fortunately.
There was no queue when I reached the place. A female doctor (yaaay) attended to me and tried to do some flushing. Unfortunately, it didn’t get any better. My left ear was still blocked. And after the doctor examined my right ear, apparently it’s also full of wax. I needed to have it flushed as well. But I told her, please take care of my left ear first.
The doctor gave me another solution with more dosage and asked me to come back a week later. Hopefully, the wax would be soft enough so she could do another flushing.
Second GP Visit – 100415
But I couldn’t even stand one week. Three days later, my left ear was still blocked and my head hurt like crazy. I knew that it’s because ear has a balancing function to our body and perhaps that’s why I had been feeling disoriented after the first flushing.
I took another early leave from office and went straight to GP office. Too bad it was a male doctor’s turn. No choice. I let him flush my left ear. It was really different! The male doctor was so harsh in flushing, in my opinion. He tried several times, and my left ear was still blocked. Worst, my head buzzed really hard and it was getting hard to navigate around. I was thinking that maybe I needed to take another sick leave.
The doctor gave up and told me I needed to see a specialist at Raffles Hospital. Oh gosh 🙁
The receptionist confirmed my appointment to be on April 13 at ENT Centre. Was so worried that my insurance doesn’t cover specialist visit so I asked my broker immediately. Luckily, my insurance does. Phew.
Specialist Visit – 130415
I spent the three days waiting with my head buzzing left and right. I kept applying ear solution but I found out that it didn’t really resolve my problem. I seriously couldn’t wait until I see the specialist. Sigh.
Since the appointment was in the afternoon, I spent the whole morning working from home. Went to the hospital after lunch, and still with a buzzing ear. I really took my body for granted 🙁
When we finally reached Raffles ENT, surprisingly there were far more people there more than I thought there would be. But I didn’t wait too long though, and when my name was finally called, I entered the room.
Few days before, I already googled the doctor I was supposed to meet. Some people said he’s very gentle and very experienced. I was expecting someone quite old and senior then. Turns out it was true. He looked even fragile, to be honest.
He gently examined my left and right ear. And just like the GP, he said that my right ear was also blocked and needed to be flushed. I sighed. Fine. I just want this to be done asap.
First, he tried to unblock my left ear. This time it’s not flushing. It’s sucking the earwax out. My God, if flushing hurts, sucking is even more painful I almost cried. The doctor said my ear canal is really really small it was a bit difficult to suck the earwax out. I had to be more patient.
He tried for a few minutes, and only a little of the earwax could come out. It was looking good though. And to be honest, seeing my doctor had confidence made me feel calmer.
He then moved to my right ear. This one was pretty fast. But I was really really surprised by the amount of ear wax being sucked from my right ear. It was A LOT. Like, I couldn’t believe I could still hear using my right ear despite the mountain of ear wax!
After my right ear was done, the doctor found that there was a bit of infection happening. So my right ear had blood outside the eardrum. He said not to worry though. I just needed to apply some solution and keep it dry for a few days.
Back to my left ear. After several tries of sucking combined with flushing, FINALLY it’s done. Alhamdulillah… I said it softly after I could hear again using both my ears.
Then the doctor lectured me a bit. He said, there’s no way I could prevent this from happening again i.e the blocking caused by earwax. My problem is like he said: that my ear canal is really small that earwax can’t roll out properly. It’s only about time until I need to visit the doctor again to clean my earwax. What I could do though is keep my ear clean and apply some ear solution once in a while, to make sure the earwax get softened and hopefully not building too much inside.
Well. I guess that concludes my story then.
Moral of the story?