Unlike ear syringing, where water is used to flush the wax out without the use of a microscope, this method another method of ear wax removal using a microscope. The technique which is safe, comfortable and pain-free and can sometimes be more effective. With the Microsuction method, you don’t have to use olive oil prior to having the treatment, however, it may help but is not necessary.
Like with all ear wax removal procedures, upon your arrival, you will be greeted and asked to fill in a questionnaire in relation to your ear health history and any medication you may be taking.
You may also be asked for your consent to send a letter to your GP advising them of any treatment carried out. Your ear care specialist will then invite you into the treatment room, they will first make sure you are comfortable and then will explain what the procedure entails.
Firstly, the specialist will begin to examine your ear using a microscope to deter the consistency and extent of the earwax.
A microscope is used which provides the ear care specialist with a clear and magnified view of the ear canal. During the procedure a medical suction devise is used to suck out the wax, a piece of equipment which is made of very thin still is placed onto the suction tube which allows the ear care specialist to gently suck the out the earwax from the ear canal using the low-pressure suction devise.
A video otoscope will be used to show you a clear image of before and after the treatment. Microsuction is a dry procedure, with no liquids/water being used or flushed into the ear there will be no mess during this procedure. This also reduces the risk of infection. Microsuction is pain-free and quick, it is totally comfortable, and the blockage can be removed in minutes, it is also safe for people who have a perforated eardrum
Microsuction is accepted across the medical profession as the safest and most comfortable method of ear wax removal, however, no treatment of ear wax removal is completely risk-free.
As with all medical procedures, there can be problems, generally though these problems are quite rare.
The risks are as follows:
Microsuction is still considered to be safe, comfortable and with little or no risk when undertaken by an experienced and qualified professional.
Once the treatment is completed, and the procedure is successful, you will be free to leave the clinic, the best way to look after your ears after the appointment is to try to not use cotton buds, scratch or poke your ears. The ear canal naturally cleans itself and when you fiddle with the ears you are more likely to cause them problems such as a build-up of wax or worse an ear infection.
To clean the outside of the ear, use a dry tissue or an alcohol-free baby wipe to wipe around and behind the ear after taking a shower or bath.
Another way to prevent a build-up of ear wax using olive oil drops at least once a month, this will help soften and break the wax apart making it easier for it to move out of the ear canal.
if the wax is cleared but you still feel your experiencing hearing difficulties, the ear care specialist may recommend booking you in for a hearing test to test your hearing.
Many of you may have heard of the procedure Water Syringing, but the more modern term used now is Water Irrigation. Water Irrigation or syringing is a method of wax removal carried out by most Ear Care Specialists or clinicians usually using the Propulse water Irrigator. The Propulse Irrigator enables effective patient care, with adjustable water pressure providing safe water delivery.
Inside of the ear is very sensitive, if you have a build-up of ear wax this can cause damage to the canal and eardrum which can affect your hearing. The ear irrigation method is a safe way to minimize the risk of damage to the ear, however, ear syringing is not safe for everyone. Individuals who have severe Otitis Externa, also known as swimmers’ ear and those with a history of eardrum surgery, middle ear disease or radiation therapy to the ear. Your ear care specialist will discuss with you a safer alternative of ear wax removal such as Microsuction or manual removal.
You will be advised to use olive oil at least 3 days prior to the appointment to try and soften the ear wax, failure to do this may mean the ear care specialist may not be able to remove the wax effectively and you will be asked to come back for a 2nd or 3rd appointment.
Before any ear care professional performs water irrigation, they will ask you a series of questions based on your medical history to deem whether the procedure will be safe to carry out. Once they have all your information, they will then shine a light into your ears with an Otoscope which magnifies the image to ensure that your symptoms are the result of excess wax build-up and not something more serious.
Once you have been asked a series of questions, the specialist will you take you into the treatment room to begin the procedure. Using the controlled pressurised flow of water, they will begin to remove the build-up of ear wax. Under the gentle force of the water, the ear wax is softened and washed out of the ear. It’s important to know that cold water should not be used, instead be a warm, tepid temperature.
Water Irrigation is totally comfortable, and, in many cases, the ear wax blockage is removed in minutes, most people do not suffer pain during the procedure and often recommend it to their friends and family.
Like with most things you may experience some side effects from having the water irrigation method. These side effects are not typically serious, but they can be uncomfortable. Common side effects of ear irrigation can include the following:
The method of water syringing has come a long way, many GP surgeries unfortunately no longer offer this service, however, there are many Audiologists and Ear Care specialist up and down the country that are specialising in Water Irrigation and other methods of wax removal.
The benefits of water irrigation over the microsuction method is, it tends to remove the majority of the wax leaving a clear image of the eardrum. You wouldn’t necessarily get this outcome with the Microsuction method or Manual Removal alone. However, sometimes both Water Irrigation and Microsuction are used together to attempt to clear the ear.
You may experience some soreness after the procedure, this is extremely rare and can be due to the removal of large amounts of wax being removed. If you experience moderate to severe pain, this could be down to an undying infection, in this case, speak to your local pharmacist or make an appointment with your GP.
It is very important that you keep the ear dry for at least seven days after the procedure as you may be prone to infection, if you have a shower place some cotton wool into the ear and if you are a keen swimmer make sure to use earplugs.
If after having the procedure you find you are still struggling with your hearing, the ear care specialist will either advise on any medical issues detected and may provide a report for you to take to your GP or offer to book you in for a hearing test.
Earwax removal can be a pretty scary thing when it’s your first time. However, most people don’t realise that it’s very common. It’s so common in fact, that it’s the most likely reason for temporary hearing loss. No need to be embarrassed as you’re not the only one having problems with earwax. It’s natural for there to be a build up from time to time. Below are the two types of earwax removal you will come across with the advantages and disadvantages as well as how to protect your ears.
Microsuction is a newer form of earwax removal and the preferred option. Not only do you not need to soften the wax using olive oil or ear drops in most cases, it doesn’t leave the ear waterlogged after the procedure. In addition, it is less likely to cause an ear infection as can happen sometimes with irrigation. Microsuction earwax removal works by placing what might as well be a vacuum cleaner into the ear. This then sucks the earwax out. Some clinics will have camera on the end of the Microsuction device with a television screen so you can see the earwax as it’s being removed.
Irrigation involves pumping water into the ear and holding a pan on the neck of the patient till all the wax gets flushed out. The downside to irrigation is that you usually have to spend a couple of weeks softening the wax with olive oil or ear drops. If you’re looking to have the wax removed same day, irrigation isn’t convenient. Irrigation also leaves your ears vulnerable to infection as they can become waterlogged (otitis externa).