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Whether it be an ENT (Ear, nose, throat doctor), audiologist, or hearing instrument specialist, an ear doctor's office can look a little bit odd with all of the various tools and instruments. An otoscope is most commonly used to look inside the ear to look for ear wax buildup, signs of ear infection, and diagnose other issues.
This instrument is used by a wide range of medical professionals, including your general physician.
There are a couple of common instruments that ear doctors use to remove ear wax in their office. A curette is a long, skinny instrument with a small scoop on the tips that can fit inside the ear canal. Irrigation is used by many professionals to clear built up ear wax and debris from the ears. Trade in your your hearing aids and receive $500 for each hearing aid less than 5 years old and $300 for hearing aids more than 5 years old! After the operation your child will go to the recovery area for a short time and then you will be called to come and take them back to the ward with one of the nurses.  They may feel a bit tired or nauseous but after a few hours they should be able to go home.
Flying with grommets is perfectly safe and the ears should be pain free as they are being ventilated properly. Grommets stay in for a varying length of time but most fall out between 6 to 12 months after being put in.  They usually become attached to wax and fall out of their own accord. When functioning normally, the eustachian tube carries debris from the ears to the throat allowing this matter to be swallowed instead of building up in the middle ear. An otoscope (also known as an auriscope) is a medical instrument that allows healthcare professionals to better see the outer and middle portions of the ear.
In young children and infants, an otoscope can diagnose issues that the child can not vocalize what is bothering them, as in the case of a baby with an ear infection. It is used at routine checkups to make sure that all is well and looks healthy in your ears.

For most cases of ear wax buildup or blockages, patients will be sent home with an at-home ear wax removal kit.
Curettes are used to gently scoop ear wax out of the ear and is handy when ears are especially compacted with ear wax.
Don't be afraid to ask questions about the instruments used in the office so that you have an understanding of what your doctor plans to use and why. However, if they are recurrent, grommets may be recommended as they can help reduce the frequency of infection or make the symptoms less problematic by allowing the ear to drain. Grommet insertion is not particularly painful but taking paracetamol (calpol) for a day or so should settle any discomfort. It is important to check that the eardrum has healed up properly behind the grommet and that the glue or infections have not recurred.
Blocked ears can be caused by a number of different things, which is why it is so important to get a proper diagnosis from your doctor or an ENT specialist if you are experiencing chronic symptoms.
If the tube becomes plugged, fluid can become trapped in the middle ear causing blocked ears. This is because the eustachian tube in children is both smaller and at a more horizontal angle than found in adults.
For instance, scuba divers who move to or from an environment with dramatically higher pressure may cause damage to tissues of their middle, inner, or external ear.
An exam by an ear, nose and throat specialist will determine the cause of your symptoms, and a treatment plan that is directed at addressing the cause will be devised. In adults, an otoscope can confirm symptoms and help the doctor understand how to treat your ears. If you visit your physician or an ear doctor with complaints about ear pain or discomfort, and otoscope is likely the first instrument that will be used to look at your ears. However, some tools are needed for severe cases in which ear wax cannot be removed at home with a kit. Many people are a little scared to think of a doctor putting this device inside of their ear, but rest assured that doctors are professionals and the last they they want to do is damage your ear or hurt you.

My anaesthetist will see you on the day of the surgery and explain the process of getting your child to sleep. Children can eat and drink whatever they like and can go back to school or nursery the next day.  If your child has had another procedure too (such as adenoidectomy or tonsillectomy) please look at the post operative instructions for those as they are different. For this reason I like to see patients with a new hearing test  every six months after surgery. For many people, chronic symptoms result from buildup of ear wax or when fluid becomes trapped in the Eustachian tube.
Seeking treatment as soon as possible is imperative since, if left untreated, a blocked eustachian tube can cause hearing loss.
In most cases, non-invasive treatment is possible, and chronic symptoms will be alleviated. In the office, ear doctors often have a slightly stronger irrigator that allows a solution to flow through the ears a bit more.
I would like you to keep all water out of the ears until you come to see me 2 weeks after the operation. The majority of children grow out of their ear problems but there are a small number who may need a second set of grommets.
Many people also experience blocked ears after they have a severe case of allergies or a severe cold.
If you feel you or you child is suffering from blocked ears and the painful symptoms listed above, please contact us to speak to our Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon at ENT Clinic Sydney, phone 1300 123 368.
The solution used is generally a medication that softens ear wax so that it can be removed easily. After that it is only soapy water that needs to be kept out of the ears and so more cotton wool and Vaseline or commercially bought earplugs should be used for hair washing.

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