Did earwax removal trigger tinnitus?

Dr. Keith Roach suspects a patient whose ears were recently cleaned simply made it easier to notice her tinnitus, rather than causing her hearing loss.



July 7, 2022 - 2:27 PM

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a healthy 76-year-old woman, and over the years I’ve tended to accumulate earwax and periodically have it removed. The doctor used a slim vacuum, and the noise was very significant. Directly after that he gave me a hearing test, and I have hearing loss in my right ear. 

Since that incident about two months ago, I have experienced tinnitus, which is debilitating and affecting my quality of life. The ear, nose and throat doctor  suggested an MRI, which I decided not to have. I know this is not curable, and I know that there are methods to manage it. My question is, Do you think the decibel level of the vacuum exacerbated the tinnitus? The doctor said that because one of my ears was 100% impacted, I am noticing the tinnitus more now. — A.C.

Answer: I think your doctor is probably right, that you are noticing the tinnitus more now. 

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