How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question

Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18213
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
21597572
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. D. Love is online now

I am suffering from two very blocked ears. The left ear is

Resolved Question:

I am suffering from two very blocked ears. The left ear is particularly so. I have been to see my GP and he has advised that I put oil drops to soften the wax, so that they can be syringed. This is a ritual I know well, since I have suffered from excess wax in my ear canals for years. What I haven't experienced before is terrible hyperacusia, which is making me so terribly sensitive to noise that I am unable to walk out of the front door of my flat. Any exposure to background noise is like an assault, which is a terrifying experience, which I've never had before. My GP surgery say they cannot get anyone to clean my ears for over a fortnight. That would normally be OK, but in this case, I don't think I can wait that long to see whether this terrible sensitivity to noise can be relieved. Shall I go to A and E department, and hope that someone will be able to see me there and then? Shall I stop using the drops? Is that aggravating the problem? I am desperate for some advice.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 9 months ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

There are several possibilities to consider in this situation.

Excessive ear wax can cause pain in the ear and decreased hearing, but it would be unusual for ear wax to cause hyperacusis. However, interventions to irrigate or scrape the ears to remove ear wax may cause or exacerbate hyperacusis. The application of drops to soften the ear wax is typically well tolerated. In addition, it usually will be well tolerated to allow gentle flow of warm water into the ear, such as in the shower. So, ear drops would typically not aggravate the problem and there is no reason to stop using the drops. However, if you have tried home irrigation, that may be contributing to the hyperacusis.

There are a couple of other options that you can try at home to ease symptoms. It may help to use an over the counter antihistamine, since the blocked ears may also be related to fluid in the middle ear. It also may help to use an over the counter anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

As for whether you should be seen in A&E, that would depend upon the severity of symptoms. If you can get some improvement in symptoms with the above interventions, then it may not be necessary for you to consider being seen emergently. However, if the symptoms are persistently more severe, then it may be necessary to be seen.

If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Dr Love. Thank you for clarifying the situation. My GP claims that there is no infection that he can see and I have certainly not tried home irrigation, because I am not confident that it's not going to make matters worse. I can't explain what is causing the hypercusis. I hadn't thought about the antihistamine or the anti-inflammatory. I shall certainly try them both and see if they can relieve the symptoms. It's very difficult to get an appointment see my GP again, so I guess I'll have to reappraise the situation over the next 24 hours.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 9 months ago.

Your GP will make an assessment based on what can be seen, but in a patient with an excessive amount of ear wax, there usually can only be a limited amount of the ear drum that can be seen, and frequently none of the ear drum can be seen well. And if there is non-infected fluid in the middle ear, the findings can be subtle, and consequently difficult to detect if the ear drum cannot be seen well.

It is a good plan to try these interventions and reassess tomorrow.

Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18213
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
Dr. D. Love and other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 9 months ago.

If I can provide any further assistance, please let me know. If I have answered all your questions, please remember to provide a positive rating so that I am credited for assisting you.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I see. That makes sense. I wish GPs were always as good at explaining these things as you are. Thanks again.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 9 months ago.

You are most welcome.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me FROM a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O.
< Previous | Next >
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me FROM a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Family Physician

    Family Physician

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2418
    GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/FA/FamilyPhysician/2013-8-31_191624_JA550x500Photo.64x64.jpg Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2418
    GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/DO/DoctorRich/2012-9-12_72454_Doctorweb.64x64.jpg Dr. Natasha's Avatar

    Dr. Natasha

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    7887
    American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Ivy League trained
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/DR/DrK99/newpic2.64x64.jpg Dr. K.'s Avatar

    Dr. K.

    Board Certified MD

    Satisfied Customers:

    255
    Board certified with experience in primary care.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/agketch/2008-7-14_184046_drketchresized.jpg Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    76
    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/JA/JACUSTOMERjtu60wne/2011-2-14_183449_passportphoto2.64x64.jpg docwithheart's Avatar

    docwithheart

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    0
    Board certified pediatrician, with special experience in general pediatrics, hospital pediatrics, and pediatric cardiology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/DR/drappapo/2013-8-16_22576_drdavid.64x64.jpg Dr. David's Avatar

    Dr. David

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    224
    Treat children/young adults, former chief resident, multiple publications
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/TA/tazechip/2012-6-7_135230_drpic.64x64.png Dr. Chip's Avatar

    Dr. Chip

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    12373
    20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
 
 
 

Related Medical Questions