I?ve been having problems with my left ear for a while – a noticeable tinnitus, hearing loss, and sometimes my ear feels like it?s filled with cotton wool. That?s how it was yesterday. So I phoned our local surgery to make an appointment, only to be told that appointments are very scarce and I?d do better to attend the casual surgery (where one can turn up without an appointment between 8 and 9 a.m.)
I have only been to this surgery twice before, once to register and once to have the practice?s compulsory pre-acceptance health check, so I thought I?d give it a go. It?s summer, I thought, there won?t be many people there at 8 o?clock in the morning; I?ll get through in ten minutes and go home for breakfast. How wrong can you be? I should have realised that the cars jockeying for position in the car park across the road were full of people desperate to see a doctor.
I got to surgery just before 8 a.m. and already the waiting room was fairly full. People chatted and read magazines. From time to time the public address system emitted a barely comprehensible summons to MrnnnnCracklennn?to go to?room nnnggg. The waiting patients looked at each other with raised eyebrows and a wild surmise. Was that my name? Which room was that?
I was summoned to room 1 after about half an hour. The doctor was clearly in ?get them in, give them two minutes and get them out again? mode. I don?t blame him, he had an overflowing waiting room, but I found myself under pressure to explain myself in short order.
The doctor stuck his auroscope in my ear, declared the ear clear of wax deposits, suggested I should buy decongestants from the chemists, and bade me goodbye. Two minutes. Next patient? Mrs?nnnnCracklennn?toroom nnnggg?please.
I?m not convinced about the decongestants. I shall give them a go and see what happens. But I may be back. Next time I shall make an appointment, no matter how long I have to wait. The condition?s not urgent, but I would like a little more of the doctor?s time.
In the meantime, does anyone have experience of this kind of intermittent and partial hearing loss? Any?safe?remedies?