With my lack of sleep and stress being taken care of by a combination of acupuncture and ventosa treatments, I only one more thing to take care of – my ears. So my next stop for the day was the clinic of Doctor Ramon P. Ramos, III.
I my recent trips to Boracay and Bohol, I found myself losing my hearing after taking a dip in their warm blue waters. And as much as I would like it to sound dramatic to spare myself the embarrassment, the reason I couldn't hear was simple – my ear was clogged.
What I learned from my physician, Doctor Ramon P. Ramos, III is that ear wax expands when exposed to water. The purpose of this is to provide the inner ear with a waterproof seal to prevent bacteria or foreign bodies from entering. So it is with a straight face that I say, I temporarily lost hearing because my ears needed cleaning.
The Danger of Self-cleaning
I am probably one of millions of people who would clean their own ears instead of having someone else do it. While others would use a cotton bud, I used a metal ear pick to lightly scrape out my ear wax. The problem with these cleaning tools is that earwax can end up being pushed deeper in the ear canal.
Once exposed to water, the earwax deep in one's canal may end up expanding in all directions to clog the ear. Apart from preventing sound from reaching the eardrum, it can put pressure on the delicate parts of the ear and cause pain.
Another problem that an ear pick brings is the danger of scarring the ear canal. Let's face it, whenever we have an itch, we scratch it. So when it comes to an itchy ear canal, we try to jam in our smallest finger in order to relive the itchiness. When that doesn't work, some people end up using cotton buds, ear picks, or even hair pins to find relief
Too much scratching can lead to tiny wounds. And over time, these wounds may turn into scars that may permanently affect the ability to hear.
The Benefit of Letting Experts do it
The way I see it, people clean their own ears because of three reasons. The first is that our parents did it; so that's what we learned. The second is because self-cleaning provides us with instant results; no need to schedule an appointment. And the third is that consulting a doctor for cleaning can be extremely expensive.
[I heard of a story of one doctors who charged over twenty thousand Pesos just to stick a cotton bud in his patient's ear.]
The problem is that the risks far outweigh the benefits when it comes to incorrectly cleaning one's own ears. A check on the internet reveals a number of problems associated with the dangers of incorrect cleaning. And quite a bit of them come with extremely graphic pictures of the results.
The problem with cleaning one's own ears is that we tend to work on feeling and hearing since we cannot see our own ear canals. But just because our ears feel lighter and our hearing is a little better, does not mean that we did a good job.
Consulting a qualified doctor means he can see what is being cleaned. Thanks to a headlight and magnification lens, he can clean ears without causing injury to the tiny hairs in the ear canal or to the ear drum.
Another thing is that a doctor's hands will be steady. In such a small space where the slightest twitch can mean being deaf for life, having rock steady hands is an absolute must.
So while it may be more expensive to visit one's Ears, Nose, and Throat doctor, it is more expensive to repair the damage that may result from incorrect cleaning. It may even get to the point where the damage cannot be repaired at all.
The methods and tools of modern western medicine have come a long way. I remember a long time ago that my old Ears, Nose, and Throat doctor would put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in my ears to dissolve my earwax then flush it out with high pressure water from a large glass syringe.
As a child, I always found it to be interesting because I loved listening to those pops and crackles. Then when the water would be used, it would tickle as it dripped down my neck.
This method doesn't seem to be as common anymore as better ones, such as vacuuming earwax, are used today. This latest method involves use of a suction machine specially designed for ears. What makes the machine different is that the suction is very weak.
[Yup, it won't suck out your brain out.]
Secondly, the metal tip of the device is very small, resembling a very thin straw. The machine is then attached to a bottle, where one's ear wax is deposited to make candles.
[Just kidding! All that treasure is safely dispose of.]
As a doctor vacuums the earwax, he will stop every now and then to use a different tool to dislodge some pieces that are firmly attached. Once loose, he will resume work with the suction machine.
In my case, the only thing I felt was the lightening of my ears as it was vacuumed. I didn't feel the tip of the suction tool in my ear or the weight of the Doctor Ramos' hands on the side of my head.
As I have said, it is always a pleasure to visit Doctor Ramon P. Ramos, III. Apart from getting my hearing back, I always learn something new; sometimes something that has have nothing to do with my ears.
Finally, Doctor Ramon Ramos, III is affiliated with several HMO companies, which I have listed below. If you are planning you consult him using a particular company, I suggest checking with his clinic first as the list I have may not be updated.
Lesson of the Day
And today, I was surprised to learn that ill-fitting dentures can cause pain along the side of the neck. And while some patients can mistake it for a throat problem, only a good Ears, Nose, and Throat doctor can check and rule out other causes, such as an infection or nerve damage.
[Interesting... I wonder what I will learn on my next visit?...]
|Name||Doctor Ramon Ramos, III|
|Specialization||General Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)|
|HMO Accreditation||Advance Medical Access Philippines, inc., Asian Life & General Assurance Corp., Assist and Assistance Concept, Inc., Carewell Health Systems, Inc., Cocolife Health Care, Eastwest, Generali Pilipinas, Global 24 Network, Health Plans Phils, Inc., IMS Wellth Care, Inc., Insular Health Care, Inc., Kaiser International, Maxicare, Medicard Philippines, Medilink, Optimum Health, Royale Mariners, and Sunlife Grepa|
|Address||Room MAC-401, De La Salle University Medical Center, Congressional Avenue, Dasmariñas City, Cavite, Philippines|
|Landline||481-8000 local 4401|
|Clinic Hours||Monday to Friday from 10AM to 4PM
Saturdays by appointment