Case Study: Hearing Loss Caused by Negligent Ear Syringing

Compensation: £22,500 

Reginald, 59 

This case study outlines how we helped Reginald to claim compensation after he suffered hearing loss and required further treatment due to errors made when his ears were syringed at his GP surgery.

If you are looking for information on how JMW can help you to make a claim for hearing loss yourself you can go directly to our deafness claims page here, or read on for his story.


Reginald had a history of problems with wax in his ears and had previously had his ears syringed at the doctors and had also been prescribed hydrogen peroxide drops and olive oil drops to clear impacted wax.

When the painful impacted ear wax returned several years later he attended an appointment with a practice nurse at his GP surgery to have his ears syringed again. Reginald found the procedure painful and that it had taken longer than on previous occasions. 

That night when Reginald was at home he found he was still suffering pain in his ears from the procedure and there was discharge coming from his left ear. Reginald contacted the GP practice to make an appointment to get his ears checked out the following day.

Eardrum perforated

At the follow-up appointment the next day Reginald was seen by a GP and the nurse who had carried out the ear syringing. On examination it was discovered that Reginald’s left ear drum had been perforated and that his hearing was coming and going. 

Reginald was informed that the perforated ear drum should heal itself and that he should give it a period of two months to do so. Reginald was given medication in case of infection in the ear and sent home. Following this appointment Reginald continued to experience difficulties with his hearing as well as ringing in his ears. However as instructed he waited eight weeks to see if his condition improved before revisiting his GP.

Urgent referral

When Reginald returned to the GP practice his ears were examined and he was referred urgently to a specialist ear, nose and throat (ENT) hospital.  By this point Reginald was suffering with severe ringing in his ears (tinnitus) and was struggling to sleep because of this. He was concerned about his ability to drive due to the hearing loss and tinnitus as this was a key part of his job. 

When Reginald attended the appointment with the ENT specialist he was diagnosed with otitis externa, a condition that causes inflammation and swelling of the canal between the outer ear and the ear drum. His ears were suctioned and he was given antibiotics. 

However Reginald’s condition continued to deteriorate and he suffered visual disturbances. He was sent for an MRI scan which revealed a significant infection in his inner ear. Reginald underwent further treatment at the ENT hospital however tests showed he had suffered hearing loss. Reginald continued to have problems with his ears for which he is receiving further treatment.

Successful Claim

After contacting JMW for advice Reginald’s case was taken on by Sophie Fox. Sophie argued that Reginald’s hearing loss and suffering had been caused because the ear syringing he had undergone at his GP practice was negligently performed.

Sophie found that the practice nurse had failed to carry out the syringing to an acceptable standard and had failed to stop the procedure when Reginald complained of significant pain. Sophie obtained Reginald £22,500 in compensation for the suffering he had endured and to help him to cope with the implications of his hearing loss.  

Have you also suffered hearing loss following negligent ear syringing? If so, we could help you make a claim

If you have suffered in a similar way to Reginald, give us a call to discuss the situation and to see whether you could be entitled to compensation. Ring us today on 0800 054 6512, or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our expert team will get in touch with you. 

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