An Englishman In Isabela Blog #134 – Scoop or Syringe?

Friday, April 09, 2010

Category: Travel and Places

A couple of weeks back I started to lose the hearing in one ear and so we visited a doctor in the city as I suspected all it needed was a quick syringe to have some excess wax removed. As recommended I purchased some solution the previous day to soften the wax plug in advance.
The specialist’s office was above a hardware store in a very run-down building on the high street and as we drove up to the entrance Gina spoke to a man outside to get directions. As it transpired he was the doctor taking a short break as there was a brown-out and not even the fans were working.  As we were ushered into the reception area, through the musty decor we noted a wall covered in various qualification plaques.
I was the only patient and moments later I was sitting in a very uncomfortable hard chair with an equally unyielding headrest. It was quite dark and having inspected my ear with usual battery-powered lightprobe the specialist starting poking around in a box containing various metal tools before selecting one he felt was suitable for the job. As he poked it into my ear with a scoop it became apparent that there was no syringe in his armoury.
After each poke of the scoop into my ear the doctor triumphantly showed me the wax he had successfully removed but it was extremely painful. Though he managed to restore some hearing I was not sure what collateral damage he might have caused. He did tell me however that the ear canal had become inflamed due to the wax plug and gave me a solution to inject into my ear: one drop three times a day. Lighter by 600 pesos (£8.00) we departed and I spent the next few days nursing my ear which had developed annoying tinnatus, that ringing and hissing that can keep you awake at night. The drops initially seems to make matters worse but after a week I stopped using them and my hearing came back to normal minus any tinnatus noise.
So it looks like he knew what he was doing but wow was it painful! The ear syringe or irrigation method has my vote every time and when and if I need treatment again we will go to the hospital clinic.