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Q. I get tinnitus in my right ear after self irrigating the ear for wax. Did I damage my ear?

Answered by
Dr. Satyabrata Panigrahi
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on May 25, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jun 06, 2020

Hello doctor,

Since about a week and a half ago, I have had tinnitus in my right ear. This was after self irrigating the ear with one of those squeezy syringes that come with the Otex ear drops. Before doing this, I was putting in oil drops for about a week prior.

Quite a bit of wax came out, but now I have this hissing noise in my ear which gets worse when listening to podcasts and music at low-medium levels. It also seems to become more pronounced when I chew. I have had a subtle amount of ear pain over the past week but that seems to have gone now, but the hissing sound has not improved at all.

I am worried I may have applied too much pressure when squeezing the ear syringe and have damaged my eardrum. I was wondering if this will heal over time and the tinnitus will go away? I cannot go see a GP due to Corona, so an opinion would be much appreciated.

Dr. Satyabrata Panigrahi

Audiology Speech Therapist


Welcome to

It is always dangerous to predict and take action in case of their own health. The tinnitus in your case is not due to earwax, it may be due to the blockage of the eustachian tube (tube connecting middle ear and back of the nasal cavity, its primary work is to equalize pressure between environment and middle ear). This is also a prediction.

The real cause can be found after an ear examination, as you have already mentioned nowadays it is a little hard to go for treatment. What you can do is practice some no side effect formulas. Steam inhalation, start sipping lukewarm water.

For tinnitus, use resound relief app which has so many natural sound combos. Use that in speaker mode, never use earphones. Do not put oil and do not do the treatment on your own unknowingly you are worsening the conditions.

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