Do your ears feel full? Are you struggling to hear as well as usual? Or, perhaps you’re suffering
from earache or dizziness? Ear wax plays an important role in keeping our delicate ears clear of
irritants, foreign bodies and germs, however, when it builds up the symptoms can be both
painful and annoying. The good news is that excess ear wax can easily be removed by a
professional. Read this post to discover some of the symptoms and causes of ear wax build-up
and find out whether microsuction ear wax removal is safe.
What causes ear wax build-up?
Ear wax should naturally move along the ear canal until it expels itself from the ear. There are,
however, times when too much ear wax is produced or that wax doesn’t clear as it should.
Impacted (or stuck) ear wax is a common problem. As people age, their ear wax becomes
harder and less mobile and so elderly people are more likely to struggle with a build-up of ear
wax. Ear wax production can also increase as a result of other conditions.
Having bony blockages (osteoma or exostoses) or narrow or damaged ear canals
Having lots of hair in the ears
Having a skin condition such as eczema on the scalp or around the ear
Having inflammation of the ear canal due to otitis externa or ‘swimmer’s ear’.
If you have a build-up of ear wax, you might experience some hearing loss or feel like your ear
is blocked. You may also suffer from earache, have tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing sound in your
ears), or even have vertigo, which can make you feel sick and dizzy.
How can I remove ear wax?
If you feel like your ears are full of wax, you may be tempted to reach for the cotton buds but
this common DIY method of ear wax removal can be dangerous. As well as risking damage to your inner ear, inserting any external object into the ear can increase the accumulation of ear wax, so you may inadvertently make the problem worse. If you’re struggling with ear wax, it’s important to seek professional help.
It used to be the case that GPs would routinely offer ear syringing, however, NICE guidelines now advise that this method – which involves using a handheld syringe to inject water into the ears and flush out wax – is potentially harmful and should no longer be used. Syringing carries a relatively high risk ofn complications – a 1990 study, surveying 312 GPs serving 650,000 patients, found that ear syringing failed to remove wax in 29% of cases, led to an ear infection in 17% of cases and caused perforation of the eardrum in 15% of cases.
Microsuction, on the other hand, is a safer method of earwax removal that results in far fewer complications. It is, in fact, so gentle that it can even be carried out on someone with an external or middle ear infection, or a perforated ear drum.
Is microsuction ear wax removal safe?
Microsuction uses a small, low-pressure vacuum device to gently suck away the earwax. A
microscope is used during the procedure, so that the inside of the ear can be clearly seen and
all of the wax removed. As the pressure is so low, microsuction ear wax removal is safe and
should be painless.
Is microsuction ear wax removal suitable for me?
At Almond Hearing, we are specialists when it comes to ear wax removal. While microsuction is
one of the methods that we offer, we will first ensure that it is the right choice for you, based on
the anatomy of your ears, your case history, and the position and the density of your wax. At our
clinic in Livingston, West Lothian, we use state-of-the-art technology to make our ear wax
removal methods as safe and effective as possible. When carrying out microsuction, we use a
high-powered microscope with 20x magnification – the same as an ENT consultant would use.
This means we can see the ear canal in detail throughout the procedure and you can be certain
that no wax will be left behind.
If you’re currently struggling with excess ear wax and would like to learn more about is
micro suction ear wax removal safe and other ear wax removal treatments, contact us today.
To find out more about our hearing tests and the other ways we can help you, view our hearing services here.