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Having ear irrigation. Causing soft hissing sound. What to do?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3631 Questions
Hello again, I had written you about the ear irrigation that seemed to cause a soft hissing sound in my right ear. Well, it mostly subsided by about two weeks. However, it reemerges for no apparent reason and then subsides, as it is doin right now. Does this get caused by a specific trigger related to the eardrum, and will it correct itself completely? I assume I will refrain from irrigation to remove wax from nowon also.
Posted Fri, 14 Jun 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 2 days later

Thanks for your query.

Usually such disturbances/ tinnitus in the ear last for not more than 2 to 3 weeks.

Since in your case it has been recurrent, I suspect it to be due to the tear in the ear drum. There is a connection from ear to the throat via Eustachian tube. This tube conducts the air from throat to the ear cavity. When this air escapes from the torn ear drum you get such hissing noise.

I believe there has been a gape/tear in the ear drum. Do consult your specialist who can confirm the fact after a examination using a speculum.

Hope I answered your query.

Please let me know if there are any other concerns.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having ear irrigation. Causing soft hissing sound. What to do? 25 hours later
Thank you for that suggestion . What would be the circumstances that cause the air, which has occurred on and off for many years, what could be the cause, and is the repair difficult or complicated? I thought ear drums can heal themselves.
Please note that this follow up question has not been answered yet since the weekend. Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 3 days later
Hi and thanks for the query,
I apologize for responding late, hope you do consider it and thanks for your confidence placed on this platform.

Repair of the ear drum as I earlier mentioned can be spontaneous (no intervention from the patient) or surgical. Spontaneous or natural healing depends on three main factors: The cause of the perforation, the size of the perforation and the inborn inflammatory response mechanism of the individual. It might however to predict with precision of healing shall be complete not, but these factors could help in giving a good idea of the possible outcome. There are individuals as I earlier mentioned who live with perforation but never experience any symptoms.

As I said earlier, the inner ear is associated to the through through a tube (eustachian), which balances the pressure between the external and XXXXXXX ears. the functioning of this balance system can be disrupted or defective in some patients. This results in noises in the ear or hissing. At times yawning or a deep swallowing or prolonged gargling, which becomes a habit in some people alleviates these symptoms.

Ear drum repair is only indicated if the patient is experiencing severe symptoms due to its rupture, has recurrent infections or performs a job the exposes recurrent contact with water or harsh air currents. When done earlier, by an experienced surgeon, in a patient who lacks other ear related conditions, success rates are good. But it is important to know that at times it even complicates the situation. A careful assessment is required to come to the decision of carrying out this procedure or not. If symptoms are very mild and perforation is not very big, there might be no point in doing surgery.

I would suggest you get an appointment with an ENT specialist for a proper clinical review.

Do not hesitate asking further questions if need be.

Thanks once again and best regards,

Luchuo, MD.
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