I wanted to talk about GP referrals. Because of pressures on GP surgeries due to Covid, I am seeing more clients in my clinics with issues other than ear wax. People are coming in with various symptoms such as pain, tinnitus, discharge or fluid. Others present for an ear wax removal appointment and otoscopy reveals there is no wax blockage. I am pleased to see clients in this way as I can do the video otoscopy and save the photo image of their ear/ears. I can email the photo to the client and they can then use this image to email to their GP as part of an econsultation.
This photo is a client who had had their ears cleared of wax and initially the ears looked normal and healthy after the procedure. They returned a week later complaining of pain and sensitivity to loud noise in the right ear. The ear still looked normal so I recommended a GP consultation who prescribed an inhaler. The client returned again a few weeks later as the symptoms had got worse. This time, the eardrum was bulging and looked like there was excessive fluid the middle ear. I emailed the photo to the client and recommended an emergency GP consultation with a view to an ENT referral.
She called me last week. ENT gave her a course of steroids for a middle ear infection and said if it had been left much longer she would have had to have had a steroid injection in the ear and may have lost her hearing. Needless to say the client was very happy we were able to send the picture so quickly to the GP who acted swiflty to get the client the diagnosis she needed for ENT