Ear wax is healthy in normal amounts and serves as a self-cleansing agent with protective, lubricating and antibacterial properties. For the majority, it does not cause any problems and falls out naturally. Various factors can effect ear wax production, such as diet, genetics, ageing and anatomy.
Problems associated with wax accumulation include:
Microsuction is generally accepted as the safest and most effective method of ear wax removal.
Microsuction is a wax removal technique using a precision, low pressure suction apparatus to gently and safely suck un-wanted or obstructing skin cells and wax from the external auditory meatus (ear canal). It avoids touching the sensitive area around the ear canal and evades contact with the eardrum.
We use surgical lenses (loupes) which provide binocular magnification so that the tip of the fine cannula (the suction tube) is always under direct vision. This technique contrasts with ear syringing where high pressure water is squirted into the ear to dislodge the wax. Microsuction is a more precise and gentle technique than ear syringing.
Occasionally we may need to use other instruments to remove hard wax. The technique means that we can always see what we are doing and can avoid touching the skin of sides of the ear canal which can make the process a lot more uncomfortable.
Why is microsuction better
Compared to traditional forms of wax removal – ear drops and irrigation or syringing, microsuction is:
What to expect from ear microsuction
Private ear wax clearance using microsuction, is provided by specially trained pharmacists who will talk you through the procedure, show you the equipment and ask you to sign a consent form before we start.
The microsuction process can be noisy and occasionally make you feel dizzy. This usually passes within a short while. If you are having the procedure undertaken on both ears, it will take up to 30 minutes.
Prior to the procedure
It is important that you soften the ear wax by putting 1-2 sprays of olive oil into the relevant ear/ears, twice daily, for three to five days prior to your appointment. This is available to purchase at Hodgson Pharmacy. Please note that if you have not done this, and the wax is too hard to remove, you may still be charged for the procedure.
During the appointment
Post treatment advice
Typically, no further action is required after the treatment and a patient can resume all normal activity immediately after the procedure.