Ear wax can be a real problem for some people. For most people, ear wax simply falls out by itself but, in some cases, it fails to do so. When this happens, it can build up and can start to impair hearing, or cause tinnitus (a ringing in the ears).
There are simple remedies that can be tried at home to remove excess ear wax, but these don’t always work. When this is the case, you may consider other options, such as microsuction, which is particularly effective at removing wax.
In this article, we look at what ear microsuction is, why it’s performed, and what possible side effects you may experience following the procedure.
What is ear microsuction?
Ear microsuction is the removal of ear wax using a high powered microscope and a small, very thin, steel wand type fitting attached to a suction pipe.
The process starts with an audiologist examining the ear using a binaural microscope, whether in the form of a loupes (magnifying glasses) or a fixed microscope. Once a clear view of the ear canal has been obtained, the wax is carefully removed using low suction.
The whole process takes just a few minutes, and most people report no discomfort during the procedure.
Why choose microsuction?
There are other ways of removing ear wax, for example, ear irrigation. But this is messy and isn’t as effective or accurate as microsuction. As microsuction is performed without liquid, there is less chance of infection compared to irrigation.
Microsuction is more comfortable and more precise, as the audiologist is able to see the ear canal. This enables them to ensure that all of the excess wax is safely removed. It is also suitable for those with perforated eardrums, while ear irrigation is not.
What are the possible side effects of microsuction?
Despite the safety of microsuction, as with any procedure, it carries a small amount of risk and potential side effects. Most of these potential side effects are very rare.
The most common side effect is some dizziness, faintness or vertigo during or shortly after the procedure. This is temporary and is due to the fact that microsuction ‘cools’ the temperature of the ear canal. And, as with any procedure, there is a small risk of infection.
As a tube is being entered into the ear canal, there is a small risk of damage or trauma occurring to the canal and eardrum. In very serious cases, this can include perforation of the eardrum, but this is rare.
During microsuction, there is some noise generated by the equipment. Some people find this noise to be very loud. In some cases, this can lead to hearing loss, which may be temporary or permanent. It may also cause tinnitus, or worsen existing tinnitus. It is worth noting that this is also a rare occurrence.
Ear wax build up can be a real problem for some people. That is where microsuction can help. Although it carries a very small amount of adverse side effects, it’s a particularly safe, efficient, and effective way of removing problem ear wax.
If you have blocked ears, call us on 0800 048 48 09 or contact us
What our clients say
Two members of my family have just received excellent advice and treatment at the Chichester Centre.
My husband for ear plugs advice and my 12 year old son, who has been suffering with excessive ear wax building up for the past year or so and being told by GP that can do nothing except keep putting drops in.
Within 15 minutes he had his ears safely unblocked, using micro suction and washing, something the GP said was not available. My son is like a different child and can actually hear again.
Thank You!Mr J Llewellyn – Chichester patient