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What Is Ear Wax Microsuction and Is It Suitable for Me?

Ear wax buildup – also sometimes called impacted cerumen – is a surprisingly common condition, affecting around 150,000 people per week. It occurs when the usual systems that remove earwax from the ear cannot function correctly, leading to unwanted buildup.

Symptoms can be unpleasant and include discharge, pain and hearing loss. Therefore, it is important to deal with impacted earwax before it causes harm.

Historically, patients used various techniques for removing earwax. However, recent clinical investigations and research show that these methods are ill-advised. Cotton swabs, for instance, may push wax material up against the eardrum, making symptoms worse. And ear wax candling may actually burn parts of the ear, leading to permanent scarring and damage.

Fortunately, audiologists offer a range of effective solutions to earwax buildup. In this post, we discuss what earwax microsuction is and whether you should consider getting it.

What is earwax microsuction?

Earwax microsuction is a safe and effective ear wax removal technique. It involves using a tiny vacuum that disrupts impacted cerumen and removes it from the ear canal.

Audiologists begin the procedure by peering into your ear with the help of a microscope. This tool allows the practitioner to see the cause and location of the blockage. More advanced clinics may use tiny insertable cameras with lights on the tip, called endoscopes, and view blockages on a monitor.

Once the audiologist locates the source of the problem, they then apply the microsuction device. This tool creates negative pressure around the earwax, encouraging it to break off. The procedure usually only lasts a few minutes. During the examination, you may hear some squeaking and cracking – this is perfectly normal.

If the vacuum is not sufficient to draw out the earwax, the doctor may use small forceps as a complementary therapy. These tools physically grab onto the hardened wax and pull it away from the ear canal wall.

Microsuction is a substitute for conventional ear irrigation which involves dispensing wax-clearing solutions into the ears to wash them out. The difference between the efficacy of the two methods is, as yet, unknown. Audiologists require further clinical trials to establish which is better for patients and why.

What are the benefits of microsuction?

Microsuction is a highly effective method for removing earwax. Research suggests that it works for more than 91 percent of people.

There’s evidence that it offers additional benefits compared to standard irrigation techniques too. Doctors, for instance, often find that they can complete microsuction earwax removal faster than conventional methods. Usually, it only takes a few minutes.

Microsuction also has the benefit of allowing the audiologist to view inside your ear during the procedure. They can then adjust their use of tools to ensure that they remove the majority of the offending wax.

Finally, it doesn’t expose the ear canal to moisture. Microsuction is a dry technique, suitable for people who are prone to infection.

Microsuction is suitable for a wide range of patients

Many types of patients can benefit from microsuction. These include people who have had ear surgery in the past, perforated eardrums and infections of the outer ear.

Are there any risks associated with earwax microsuction?

The risks associated with earwax microsuction are minimal. Most studies show that, if there are any, they are generally mild and temporary.

In some cases, patients experience reduced hearing for a few hours after the procedure. Patients may also experience dizziness or uncomfortably loud noises (because of

More serious side effects, such as infection and eardrum injury are rare. Some people may experience more severe tinnitus after the procedure.

How does earwax microsuction feel?

When done correctly, earwax microsuction does not cause any discomfort and is usually complete in just a few minutes. If you do feel pain, tell your audiologist immediately.

Are there any alternatives to earwax microsuction?

There is a range of alternatives to earwax microsuction. Doctors, for instance, may prescribe manual techniques. These involve using a curette – a long, thin tool – to scrape out unwanted earwax. Doing this correctly requires professional training and the correct technique. Failure can result in pushing the ear wax deeper into the ear canal, making the blockage worse.

Ear irrigation is another technique. This involves pumping saline or water into the ear canal to flush out unwanted earwax. The best place to get this treatment is at your audiologist’s office. However, you can also buy syringe kits over the counter if you want to try to do it yourself.

Lastly, you can also purchase over-the-counter ear wax softeners. These solutions help to liquify the earwax, allowing it to flow out naturally. Ideally, you should use commercially-available solutions, since these are well-controlled and prevent infection. However, some people use olive or mineral oil as a substitute, with some success.

Wrapping up

Microsuction is a highly effective earwax removal procedure and likely safer than most other methods. There are some side effects but, for most patients, the benefits outweigh the risks.

If you would like to receive microsuction treatment for unwanted ear wax, please contact VIP hearing Solutons today to schedule a consultation.