Mr. Jones presented to the office today complaining that “I can hear the men but not the women.” No problem. A simple examination revealed that he had totally occluded his external ear canals with wax (cerumen).
Cerumenosis, as it is termed medically, is a problem we see quite often. It causes decreased hearing, dizziness,Â ear pain, and a few other symptoms. Its cause is multifactoral but often assoociated with allergies. In an effort to rid itself against allergens, the canal produces excessive wax.
The cure is relatively easy as it takes a flushing of the ears or worse, actual spooning the external ear canal–and this really hurts. I have had two men actually pass out during this procedure.
But guess what. Some insurances and Medicare DO NOT PAY for this procedure. I ask, WHY NOT?
Who has determined that ear pain from cerumenosis is insignificant and unworthy of care, whereas pain from an ear infection is? Who has determined that dizziness from heart failure or an infection in the labyrinth of the middle ear is significant and worthy of treatment but cerumenosis isn’t?
It is time for you as patients to join the fight for your own healthcare dollar. Switch insurances if possible. Seek out these issues from your physician’s office before signing up with individual or group plans. We as physicians often know whichÂ insurance carriers are good and which ones will take your moneyÂ but leave you uncovered.