Irrigation or Micro Suction for Ear Wax Blockage

What is the best technique for ear wax removal?

Traditionally, we would make an appointment with our GP and have our ears “syringed”. This is becoming challenging to say the least. Whilst it is true that some practices still offer wax removal, an increasing number of them have stopped.

Fortunately, many Audiologists and ear care professionals are now trained in wax removal, and why shouldn’t we be? We see and poke around in more ears than almost any other healthcare professional.

The truth about syringing

So, back to the beginning… I mentioned “syringing”. The truth is syringing isn’t a thing anymore.

The correct term is irrigation, and it has come a long way in recent years. The term “syringing” came from the days when warm water was manually pumped into the ear to dissolve and effectively flush out the wax.

In principal, the procedure hasn’t changed but it’s much safer. These days we use a machine that provides a constant, steady flow of sterile warm water at a consistent safe pressure to irrigate the ear canal and remove wax safely.

This however is not the only option, nor is it for everyone. For example, irrigation is not the way to go for someone who has a perforated eardrum.

Microsuction: ear wax removal method

What other ear wax removal methods are there? The majority of people think that irrigation is the only way to remove wax. This isn’t true.

Microsuction is another safe and effective way to remove wax. Think of microsuction like using a tiny vacuum cleaner to suck the wax out of an ear canal. We usually use it coupled with a video endoscope or clinical Loupe so we can see in fine detail what we are working with.

Alongside microsuction, we can also remove wax manually by scooping it out of the ear canal with specialist instruments.

Will my earwax come back and can I manage it myself?

In short, definitely and probably. As discussed in an earlier, earwax is inevitable. However, you can manage it successfully yourself once you have had problem wax removed with specialist products such as Audispray, but again this isn’t for everyone and each case will be assessed individually and any recommendations made will be carefully considered.

Author Tim Husband Next post